Could a doctor working for a humanitarian organisation be sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for having offered his “expert advice” to people linked to a “terrorist organisation”? That is what is feared by a number of civil rights’ organisations in the US since the Supreme Court declared on 21 June that the legislation known as the Material Support Statute was constitutional. Adopted by the US Congress in 1996 and amended twice since 9/11,1 the legislation is intended to provide a framework to crack down on “material support” for organisations and individuals identified by the State Department as “terrorists” or a “threat to US national security and foreign policy”.
These laws adopt a broad definition of the concept of “material support”, to cover “training”, “services”, “expert advice or assistance” and “personnel”. The constitutionality of the statute had been contested by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)2. In 2005, it had brought a case before the Supreme Court on behalf of a group of organisations and individuals who feared criminal prosecution under the Material Support Statute3 if they engaged in “political and humanitarian activities”4 for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey and the Liberation Tigers of Eelam Tamoul (LTTE) in Sri Lanka (two organisations included on the State Department’s list of terrorist organisations).
Personal Security for Humanitarian Staff
28 May 2013
Wellingborough, near London, United Kingdom
Clarity's courses aim to equip Humanitarian Staff with skills to both prevent and respond to the most prevalent security threats they face in the c...
Security Guard Training Level 2
30 May 2013
Guards are the frontline of the security of staff and property in organisations’ offices, residences and warehouses. For effective prevention...
Security Awareness and First Aid Training (SAFA)
03 Jun 2013
West Sussex, United Kingdom
This training has been developed to meet the need for cost-effective and risk-appropriate Personal Security and First Aid Training for staff in the...