November 2006 - Time for justice - end the ban on Kongra Gel (kurdmedia.com, 18.11.06). A public meeting in the House of Commons on 15 November discussed the ban on Kongra Gel, a Kurdish organisation committed to entirely non-violent political change inside Turkey. Remzi Kartal, the Brussels-based European spokesman for the banned organisation was denied permission to enter the UK to attend the meeting.
October 2006 - EU: Advocate General calls for rejection of appeal by Basque groups (AG Opinion in joined cases C-354/05 and C-355/05 P, 26 October 2006, link). The appeal concerns the inclusion of Juan Mari Olano Olano, Julen Zelarain Errasti and "Gestoras Pro Amnistía" and Araitz Zubimendi Izaga, Aritza Galarraga and "Segi" on the EU terrorist list.
October 2006 - Danish group 'Rebellion' to be charged with terrorist fund-raising (report). The Danish Minister of Justice, Ms. Lene Espersen, decided on 11 October to follow the advice from the national prosecutor (Rigsadvokaten), Mr. Henning Fode, and open a case against the private association "Oproer" for having breached the Danish anti-terror laws (background).
October 2006 - Pakistan's Baluch insurgency: A sophisticated armed fight for a province’s autonomy (Selig S Harrison, Le Monde Diplomatique, link). Examines the history of the Baluch independence struggle following recent troubles in the resource rich province and the assassination of an opposition leader in August. Ben Hayes comments:
"Barely an eyebrow was raised when the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) was proscribed as a "terrorist organisation" by the UK government in July 2006 [see below]. The upshot of this "quid pro quo" - a direct reward for General Musharraf's support of the US-UK "war on terror" - is that Britain has decreed as "terrorism" another complex struggle against the repression of legitimate demands for autonomy. Instead of pressing Musharraf for a political settlement with the minorities, as some EU officials have done, Britain and the US have backed him with political support and F16s".
October 2006 - EU: Advocate General calls for CFI ruling on PKK to be set aside (AG Opinion in Case C-229/05 P, 27 September 2006, link). The PKK was listed as "terrorist organisation" by the EU Council in 2002. Osman Ocalan (brother of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is imprisoned in Turkey) brought an action against that decision on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) together with Serif Vanly, on behalf of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK). The EU Court of First Instance dismissed the cases in February 2005 as inadmissible on the grounds that Mr Ocalan was unable to prove that he represented the PKK (he had argued that it no longer existed) and that the KNK was not individually affected by the Council’s decision to proscribe the PKK. Both applicants lodged appeals with the Court of Justice.
In the opinion of Advocate General Kokott, the Court of First Instance made an error of law in its assessment of the admissibility of the PKK application. It was incorrect to conclude from Mr Ocalan’s explanation that because the PKK no longer existed that he could no longer represent it and in so doing, the Court of First Instance distorted his evidence. Since the Council continued to designate the PKK a terrorist organisation, the PKK had to be entitled to bring proceedings against its corresponding inclusion on the list. In the Advocate General’s view, the Court of First Instance also made a procedural error. In view of its doubts as to whether Mr Ocalan could represent the PKK, it ought to have given him the opportunity to clarify his power of attorney. The Advocate General proposes that the Court should decide that Mr Ocalan is entitled to bring proceedings on behalf of the PKK and that his application should be referred back to the Court of First Instance for a decision on whether it is also well founded. As far as KNK is concerned, the Advocate General maintained that it was not affected by the proscription of the PKK.
AG opinions are not binding on the Court (their role is to propose, in complete independence, a legal solution to the cases for which they are responsible) unless they are endorsed by Judges of the Court of Justice who are now beginning their deliberations in this case (Judgment will be given at a later date). But if the ECJ follows the opinion of its Advocate General the PKK will at last be able to challenge the substance of the EU decision to designate it as "terrorist". Kadek and Kongra-Gel, who are listed by the EU as aliases of the PKK, will also be able to challenge their inclusion.
The Advocate General's opinion in the appeals bought by Basque groups and individuals ("SEGI", "Gestoras Pro Amnistía" and others) is due on the 26 October.
July 2006 - UK: first groups to be proscribed for "glorification of terrorism"; two new "foreign terrorist organisations" and two PKK "aliases" will also be banned (Home Office press release, 17.7.06, link). The Home Secretary has drafted two "Orders in Parliament" extending its proscription regime. The first Order will ban UK-based organisations "Al-Ghurabaa" and the "Saved Sect", said to be "offshoots of Al-Muhajiroun", for "glorifying terrorism". "Teyrebazen Azadiya Kurdistan" (TAK, or the "Kurdistan Liberation Hawks") and the "Baluchistan Liberation Army" (BLA), based in western Pakistan, will also be proscribed under the Order as "foreign terrorist organisations". The second Order adds "Kongra Gele Kurdistan" and "Kadek" to the UK "terrorist list" on the grounds that they are "alternative names for the PKK" (both have already been proscribed by the EU).
This is the first time the new proscription provisions in the Terrorism Act 2006 (pdf) have been used by the UK government. The Act allows the proscription of "extremist" groups for "glorifying" terrorism and extends proscription to "aliases" of organisations already listed. The draft proscription Order is subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament and will be debated in Parliament at some point in the next week. The draft Order proposing alternative names for the PKK will not be debated and will enter into force on 14 August.
July 2006 - Two more cases dismissed by EU Court of First Instance (EU Court Press Release, 12.7.06, pdf). The EU Court of First Instance has dismissed Cases T-253/02 (Chafiq Ayadi v Council of the EU) and T-49/04 (Faraj Hassan v Council of the EU and European Commission). Mr. Ayadi is a Tunisian national resident in Dublin while Faraj Hassan is a Libyan national held in Brixton Prison pending extradition to Italy. Both challenged their inclusion on the UN "terrorist list" (of supporters of Al-Qaeda or the Taleban), which is incorporated into EU law under Council Regulations. Both cases were dismissed - taking the number of unsuccessful challenges to proscription at the CFI to 8 - though there an interesting spin was put on the rights of the individuals concerned to compel their governments to raise questions in the Security Council. This so-called "diplomatic remedy" is currently the only chance of de-listing on offer to affected individuals. Lawyers have two months to appeal to the full EU Court of Justice (5 appeals against similar CFI rulings are also pending). Ben Hayes of Statewatch comments:
“With respect, the repeated rulings by the CFI that being listed by the UN Security Council as a supporter or associate of Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda or the Taleban "does not prevent the individuals concerned from leading a satisfactory personal, family and social life" is plainly wrong. In today’s political climate it is hard to think of a more serious allegation than being publicly branded a “terrorist” – whether by the UN, EU or national governments – never mind the crippling effect of the sanctions themselves. The fact remains that these regimes are a recipe for arbitrary, secretive and unjust decision-making. Unless procedures are introduced allowing affected parties to know and challenge the allegations against them in a court of law the “terrorist lists” will continue to lack legitimacy.”
June 2006 - ECJ Advocate General recommends rejection of Sison appeal over access to EU documents (Opinion, 22.6.06, link). The AG has recommended that Professor Jose Maria Sison's appeal to the European Court of Justice against the EU Council's decision to refuse access to the documents relating to his inclusion on the terrorist list should be rejected.
June 2006 - Four more proscription cases lodged at EU Court (cases T-135/06, T-136/06, T-137/06 and T-138/06). Lawyers representing the UK-based Sanabel Relief Agency Ltd and messrs Al-Bashir Mohammed Al-Faqih, Ghunia Abdrabba and Taher Nasuf have lodged cases challenging their inclusion on the UN "terrorist list" (of supporters of Al-Qaeda or the Taleban) at the European Court of First Instance. This takes the total number of legal challenges to the EU/UN proscription regime to 18 (not including those cases relating to access to the relevant EU documents).
May 2006 - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) added to EU terrorist list (EU Council press release, 9974/06, 31.5.06, pdf). The formal EU decision was taken on 29 May 2006, following earlier threats to do so. The LTTE has already been proscribed by the UK, US and Canada (last month, see below). Anton Balasingham, the Tamil Tigers' chief negotiator, commented:
"Further proscriptions will invigorate the hardline [Sinhalese] elements in the south, including those in the present Sri Lankan government urging the military defeat of the LTTE and silence those advocating a negotiated solution... The more the international community alienates the LTTE, the more the LTTE will be compelled to tread a hardline individualist path.''
The EU declares itself "fully committed to the peace process in Sri Lanka" and recognises that the "upsurge in violence is not caused by the LTTE alone". It sees no contradiction in banning the LTTE, freezing its funds and assets and prohibiting financial support while only "strongly urging the Sri Lankan authorities to curb violence in Government controlled areas".
See: Tamil Tigers Warn Against Possible EU Ban, Inter Press Service News Agency (link)
- Declaration by EU Presidency on proscription of LTTE (9962/06, 31.5.06, pdf)
- Updated EU terrorist list (OJ L 144/25, 31.1.06, pdf)
May 2006 - Briefing on the Jose Maria Sison case (English, French, Dutch pdf). "On Tuesday 30 May 2006 the Court of First Instance of the European Communities will examine the legality of the antiterrorist list adopted by the Council of the European Union in the case of Filipino professor Jose Maria Sison. Can the Ministers of the 25 European countries qualify a person as a terrorist and exclude him from economic life with neither evidence nor due process? The stake is crucial for all the defenders of fundamental rights in Europe..."
In a separate case, Sison's lawyers have lodged an appeal against a Court of First Instance judgment last year in which he was refused access to the documents leading up to the decision to list him as a "terrorist". The opinion of the Advocate General in this case is due on 22 June 2006 (see Challenging proscription)
May 2006 - Libya removed from US list of "state sponsors of terrorism" (US State Department press release, 15 May 2006, link). Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced her intention to rescind Libya’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. The decision will take effect in 45 days unless Congress objects.
Will Venezuela take its place? Venezuela, meanwhile, has been designated as "Not Fully Cooperating with U.S. Anti-Terrorism Efforts", a designation that will end all commercial arms sales to Venezuela (US State Department, 15 May 2006, link).
April 2006 - Danish association Oproer (‘Rebellion’) granted permission to appeal to Supreme Court against injunction over support for "terrorist" groups (Statement issued 26.4.06). The Board of Appeal of the Danish Supreme Court has granted spokesperson of the Danish association ‘Oproer’ (Rebellion), Patrick Mac Manus, permission to appeal the confiscation of the association’s international appeal to civil society groups to challenge the EU terrorist lists and show solidarity with groups like FARC and the PLFP. ‘Rebellion’s’ international appeal was removed from the association’s homepage by order of the Copenhagen Magistrate’s Court on 12 August 2005. This injunction was upheld 14 October 2005 by the High Court (see criminal charges raised against Danish association ‘Oproer’ (Rebellion)). The Danish Board of Appeal grants permission of appeal to the Supreme Court only in cases involving fundamental legal or constitutional principles. The association ‘Rebellion’ has argued that the confiscation of its international appeal is in conflict with both paragraph 77 of the Danish Constitution “prohibiting the re-introduction of censorship at any time”, and the European Declaration of Human Rights, Article 10, on freedom of expression. Moreover, the lower courts had in their injunctions merely made reference to the ‘terrorist list’ of the European Union, without in any way assessing the legal validity of such a list in the Danish legal system.
April 2006 - Canada adds "Tamil Tigers" to its terrorist list (Canada National Post, 10.4.06 (link)). The new Conservative Canadian government has proscribed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a "terrorist" organisation. Stockwell Day, the Public Safety Minister, said the move was "long overdue'' and "sends a signal to the (Tamil) community and right across the country that the government will not tolerate terrorism or terrorist activities''. The Tamil Tigers have long been proscribed in the UK and US and the EU has recently threatened to follow suit.
February 2006 - Documents confiscated and criminal charges raised against Danish association ‘Oproer’ (Rebellion) (Statement issued 25.2.06). Police authorities have ordered the removal of the international appeal for solidarity with proscripted organisations from the association ‘Rebellion’ from the web sites of a Danish parliamentary party, a left daily newspaper and a socialist youth group. ‘Rebellion’ is charged with transferring approximately 14000 Euro to the resistance movements FARC (Colombia) and PFLP (Palestine) in October 2004. The second charge concerns a statement on Danish television on 1 August 2005 by a spokesperson for ‘Rebellion’, Patrick Mac Manus, announcing that the association was in the process of collecting further funds in support of organisations on the EU 'terrorist list', and that it had issued an international appeal to democratic and solidarity organisations in the European Union urging them to similarly challenge national anti-terrorist legislation and the EU 'terrorist list'. Both charges have been raised personally aginst the spokesperson, Patrick Mac Manus, and not against the association as such.
See also Raids and arrests against solidarity organisation for "terrorist" fund-raising (Statewatch News Online, 20.8.05).
February 2006 - Commons agree "glorification" offence - "extremist" groups to be banned? (link: Guardian, 16.2.06) The creation of a new offence of glorifying terrorism (by a vote of 327 to 279) will extend proscription beyond groups accused of direct involvement in terrorist activity to groups "extremist" groups accused of "glorifying" terrorism. Announcing the Bill in August 2005, Tony Blair suggested that Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun were likely to banned on these grounds.
February 2006 - UK Libyans listed by UN claim innocence (link: Guardian, 9.2.06) Five men based in the Midlands in the UK have had their assets frozen after being listed by the United Nations security council. Three related property companies and a Birmingham-based charity were also proscribed.
See also latest UN list (pdf, updated 6 February 2006).
January 2006 - Norway pulls out of EU terrorist lists (Press release: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 5.1.06). The Norwegian government has decided it will "no longer align itself with any other [terrorist] list than that published by the UN" (Norway is not an EU Member State but participates in various aspects of EU police and judicial cooperation and security policy). The explanation is that continued participation "could cause difficulties for Norway in its role as neutral facilitator in "certain peace processes". Norway has facilitated negotiations in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Guatemala and Palestine - it is the EU's proscription of Hamas and other Palestinian groups that is most compromising.
January 2006 - Two more appeals to EU Court of Justice The Judgment of the EU Court of First Instance in cases T-306/01 and T-315/01 of September 2005 has been appealed to the ECJ (see cases C-402/05: Kadi v Commission and Council and C-415/05: Yusuf and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council). See also CFI Judgment of 2005.
December 2005 - EU: Addition to list of foreign terrorist groups (EU Council press release, 23.12.05). The group "Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)" was added to the list.
See also: consolidated EU list of 45 individuals and 47 groups (Official Journal)
November 2005 - EU: Addition to list of foreign terrorist groups (EU Council press release, 30.11.05). The group "Hizbul Mujahideen" was added to the list.
See also: consolidated EU list of 45 individuals and 47 groups (Official Journal)
November 2005 - Report on the criminalisation of Turkish-Kurds in Britain (6 September 2005), by Alexander John Fitch. Looks at how the discourse on "terrorism" has served to criminalise marginalised communities by examining the situation of Kurds in Britain.
October 2005 - EU: Addition to list of foreign terrorist groups (EU Council press release, 18.10.05). The Communist Party of the Philippines, which includes the New Peoples Army (already listed), linked to Jose Maria Sison (who is also already listed), was added to the list.
October 2005 - UK: 15 groups added to list of "international terrorist organisations" (Home Office website, 14 October 2005)
September 2005 - EU: First judgments in challenges to EU implementation of UN terrorist lists (Statewatch News Online, 21.9.05). The lower EU court, the Court of First Instance, has finally ruled in cases T-306/01 and T-315/01, rejecting the challenges in both cases. The applicants may appeal to the EU Court of Justice within two months.
August 2005 - Denmark: Raids and arrests against solidarity organisation for "terrorist" fund-raising (Statewatch News Online, 20.8.05). On 9 August 2005 Patrick Mac Manus, spokesperson for the Danish solidarity association Oproer (Rebellion) was arrested and charged with attempting to "directly or indirectly collect funds for a group or organisation which has the intent of committing terrorist actions". The charge is related to a TV news interview broadcast on 1 August in which Mr. Mac Manus announced the launch of an international appeal by Oproer to European democratic organisations and solidarity movements urging them to challenge national anti-terrorism legislation and the EU "terrorist lists".
August 2005 - UK to extend proscription from "terrorist" to "extremist" groups? (statement by Tony Blair, 5.08.05). The prime minister has announced his intention to proscribe "Hizb-ut-Tahrir" and any successor organisations to "al-Muhajiroun", widening the scope for proscription with new legislation in the autumn if necessary. Hizb-ut-Tahrir is a political organisation that has been committed to non-violence for 50 years and it would be without precedent to proscribe such an organisation. Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, suggests it is "unwise to emulate the banning tendencies of Middle Eastern regimes that radicalised generations of dissenters by similar policies" (Guardian, 8 August 2005).
July 2005 - EU terrorist lists extended to 13 non-EU members-states (pdf, EU Press release, 11473/05, 29 July 2005). Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the FYR Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, Ukraine and Moldova are to "ensure that their national policies conform" with the EU rules.
June 2005 - Statewatch, the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities and the Human Rights and Social Justice Institute launch Observatory on the "terrorist lists" (Statewatch press release, 29 June 2005, pdf)
June 2005 - Spanish court dismisses terrorism charges against Basque youth associations (Statewatch news online, 21 June 2005). The organisations Jarrai, Haika and Segi - all of whom are on the EU's "terrorist" list - were accused of membership of a terrorist organisation (ETA). The charges were dismissed.
June 2005 - Hizbullah appeals to UK over ban (The Guardian (link) 13 June 2005)
June 2005 - PKK appeals EU proscription to European Court of Justice (pdf, EU Council doc. 9995/05, 9 June 2005)
June 2005 - Amnesty International calls for review of "terrorist" list legislation (see AI EU report: "Human rights dissolving at the borders? Counter-terrorism and EU criminal law", pdf, 31 May 2005, see pp. 11-15)
May 2005 - Canada proscribes PMOI, Kahane Chai and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - bringing total to 38 (link to Canadian gov't site; department of Emergency Preparedness press release, 24 May 2005.
April 2005 - Court of First instance rules against Sison access to documents (Judgment, pdf).
Febraury 2005 - Terrorist Designation with Regard to European and International Law: The Case of the PMOI (pdf) Joint Opinion by Prof. Bill Bowring, Director of Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute, London Metropolitan University and Prof. Douwe Korff, Professor of International Law, London Metropolitan University.
November - Professor Sison case on access to documents goes to court
June - EU list updated
April - EU list updated
December - EU list updated
September - EU list updated
June - EU list updated
April - "Experts on Fundamental Rights highly critical of EU response to 11 September" (including the EU terrorist lists)
December - EU list updated
October - EU list updated
October - Campaign launched to defend Professor Sison
September/October - "Arbitrary" EU anti-terrorist laws tested by Swedish Young Left
June - EU list updated
May - UK has a dominating influence over the composition of EU's terorrist list
May - Statewatch commentary on the updating of the EU's terrorist list
April - USA puts three Swedish citizens on UN terrorist list
January - EU agrees first list of "terrorists"
October - Statewatch report on draft Regulation for EU terrorist list
October - Statewatch analysis of the UK's process of proscribing organisations under the Terrorism Act
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