For Immediate Release
Federal Court To Hear Arguments In KindHearts Case Tomorrow
ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Government Ability To Freeze Charity's Assets And Designate It As Terrorist Without Due Process
TOLEDO, OH - An
Ohio federal court will hear arguments tomorrow, May 1 in Toledo in a
case challenging the government's authority to freeze an Ohio-based
charity's assets and designate it as a terrorist without due process.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio and several civil
rights lawyers brought the lawsuit on behalf of KindHearts for
Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc., whose property was frozen by
the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
more than three years ago based simply on the assertion that KindHearts
was "under investigation." OFAC then threatened to designate KindHearts
as a "specially designated global terrorist" based on classified
evidence, again without providing due process.
"OFAC unilaterally froze KindHearts'
property and shut the charity down based on secret evidence, without
giving it any notice or a meaningful opportunity to defend itself,"
said Hina Shamsi, an ACLU cooperating attorney who will argue the case.
"As the 9/11 Commission staff warned, OFAC's unfettered authority is a
dangerous and powerful weapon wielded by mid-level bureaucrats, and
we're asking the court to find the freeze unconstitutional. OFAC must
also provide due process before carrying out its threat to designate
KindHearts as a terrorist and causing irreparable harm to the charity's
most valuable asset – its reputation."
Oral arguments in the case KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc. v. Geithner et al., the ACLU's challenge to the government's authority to freeze a charity and designate it as a terrorist without due process
Hina Shamsi and Ohio-based attorney
Fritz Byers will argue for the plaintiffs before Chief Judge James
Carr. In addition to Shamsi and Byers, attorneys on the case are Ben
Wizner and legal fellow Alexander Abdo of the ACLU, David Cole of the
Georgetown University Law Center, Lynne Bernabei and Alan Kabat of
Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC in Washington, D.C. and Carrie Davis of
the ACLU of Ohio.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
1716 Spielbusch Ave.
Toledo, OH 43604
Friday, May 1, 2009
8:30 a.m. EDT
More information about the case can be found online at: www.aclu.org/kindhearts
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.