The Latest News

August 19, 2015

The 2008 criminal conviction of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and five of its leaders for providing material support to Hamas, a listed terrorist organization, is being challenged in an Aug. 10, 2015 petition seeking a new trial based on new evidence. Although the government admitted that no HLF funds went to Hamas, at trial it argued that the local charity committees HLF worked with were controlled by it.  However, these committees have never been placed on the U.S. terrorist list. The new petition presents sworn statements from people directly connected to the local charities that state they were independent and not controlled by Hamas or any other group.  A decision on whether to grant an evidentiary hearing is not expected for several months. HLF itself, which was convicted without representation at trial, is not part of this petition and remains unrepresented. Background information on the HLF case can be found here

August 12, 2015

In an early August letter to the National Security Council (NSC), the Charity & Security Network asks that federal agencies engaged abroad seize an opportunity to examine rules and policies that affect U.S. nonprofit organizations (NPOs) operating in global hot spots, where their work is badly needed.

Pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum – Civil Society of September 23, 2014, agencies engaged abroad are required to “review their internal regulations, policies, and procedures to ensure that programmatic requirements do not inadvertently impede civil society operations.” In addition, the signatories to the 2013 Joint Statement on the Promotion of Protection of Civil Society agreed “to lead by example to promote laws, policies, and practices that expand the spaces for civil society to operate in accordance with international law.” The regulatory review required by the Presidential Memorandum creates an opportunity to “lead by example,” states the August 4 letter to Laura Schulz, Director for Global Engagement at NSC.

August 11, 2015

The UN and its Member States should ensure respect for International Humanitarian Law and secure humanitarian access, according to an outcome report issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross and InterAction.

July 20, 2015

The largest group of U.S.-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to date has responded to the Obama administration’s new “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) strategy.

July 18, 2015

A long-awaited final Partner Vetting System (PVS) final rule was issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) June 26 (Partner Vetting in USAID Assistance, 80 Fed. Reg. 36693). The rule, which establishes a pilot project in five countries, requires many grant applicants to submit detailed personal information on key employees to USAID for comparison with intelligence databases. It is dismissive of concerns raised by nonprofit organizations (NGOs) and others in response to the proposed rule issued in 2013