Amended US court ruling protects WTCC, FeTNA

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 March 2004, 17:22 GMT]
Judge Audrey Collins has issued an order dated March 3, 2004 which provides that World Tamil Co-ordinating Committee (WTCC) and Federation of Tamil Organizations of North America (FeTNA), as well as their members, are covered by her January 22, 2004 injunction permitting the provision of "expert advice or assistance" toward the peaceful and lawful ends of the LTTE and the PKK, legal sources in California said.

PDF Icon District Court California
HLP II et al., Vs John Ashcroft et al.,
3 March 2004, Amended Court Ruling
PDF Icon District Court California
HLP II et al., Vs John Ashcroft et al.,
22 Jan 2004, Court Ruling on Patriot Act
In a landmark decision declaring Patriot Act's addition of "expert advice and assistance" to the definition of material support is unconstitutionally vague, Judge Audrey Collins in Los Angeles on 22 January 2004 enjoined the U.S.Government from enforcing the USA PATRIOT Act's prohibition on providing 'expert advice or assistance' to foreign terrorist organizations against the plaintiffs Ralph Fertig, Dr. Jeyalingam, the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), the Ilankai Thamil Sangam and its members, and the Tamil Welfare and Human Rights Committee and its members.

Judge Collins during this ruling did not grant the same order to WTCC and FeTNA saying that the Court was not provided with sufficient details. Specifically the 22 January ruling said, "Court finds that the failure of the plaintiffs WTCC and FeTNA to provide supplemental declaration setting forth their expertise is fatal to finding that they face a threat of prosecution. The declaration submittedby the plaintiffs on September 2003 do not adequately set forth facts sufficient for the Court to rule that they arguably fall within the statue."

Nancy Chang, David Cole


Attorney, Nancy Chang of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said that it is likely that "the [U.S] government will file an appeal from J. Collins' injunction sometime between now and early May and that that the U.S government may apply for a stay of the injunction while the appeal is pending. The grant of a stay pending appeal is not automatic, and that CCR would oppose any such application."

Ms.Chang also added that Judge Collins has also modified her January 2004 injunction to limit the designated foreign terrorist organizations to which the HLP II plaintiffs may provide "expert advice or assistance" to just two organizations - the LTTE and the PKK. Judge Collins' injunction does not authorize the HLP II plaintiffs to provide "expert advice or assistance" to any designated foreign terrorist organization other that the LTTE and the PKK.

 

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