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Monday, 30 July 2007

Executive Order criminalizes humanitarian work

President Bush's recent Executive Order "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," effectively criminalizes humanitarian work in the war torn country, the ACLU warned today.

Not only does the order authorizes the Treasury Department to freeze and confiscate the assets of anyone determined "to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing" acts of violence with the "purpose or effect" of hindering the Iraqi government or reconstruction effort, it also authorizes the freezing of assets of anyone who provides "material support" to such a person or group, whether or not the person's support was knowing or intentional.

The civil rights group claimed that the vague wording of the Executive Order's terms created ambiguity about what kinds of donations and services could be considered to constitute material support, and its sweeping provisions posed risks for residents of the United States and for humanitarian work in Iraq. Press Esc
See also: Bush Executive Order:Criminalizes the Antiwar Movement