Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lawyers Win Right to Aid U.S. Target

The Treasury Department on Wednesday granted permission to a group of human rights lawyers who want to file a lawsuit on behalf of a radical Muslim cleric thought to be hiding in Yemen. The Obama administration has authorized killing the cleric as a terrorist despite his American citizenship.

The department approved a license to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to challenge the targeting of the man, Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and is accused of having ties to Al Qaeda.

Last month, Mr. Awlaki’s father retained the two groups to bring a lawsuit seeking to stop the government from trying to kill his son without a trial. But on July 16, the Treasury Department labeled Mr. Awlaki a “specially designated global terrorist.” That made it illegal for lawyers to work on his behalf without a license.

The groups applied for a license on July 23, and on Tuesday they filed a lawsuit arguing that the licensing regulation was unconstitutional. In a statement, the groups said they appreciated the “quick response to our lawsuit” but would press forward with seeking to have the licensing requirement system struck down.

Source: The New York Times

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