October 3, 2009 Comments Off on Review of Patriot Act: American tamil doctor plaintiff in appeal
The Supreme Court has agreed to review a civil liberties dispute over the government’s power to criminalize “support” of a terrorist organization.
The justices on Wednesday accepted review of a key provision of the 2001 Patriot Act, and whether it threatens free speech rights of those who would assist non-violent activities of designated groups.
Another plaintiff is an American physician who wanted to help ethnic Tamils in his native Sri Lanka. Much of the island nation is controlled by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has also fought for decades to carve an independent state. The government claims the Tamil Tigers have “used suicide bombings and political assassinations in its campaign for independence, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.”
HLP and a group of Tamil doctors say they merely wanted “to provide their expert medical advice on how to address the shortage of medical facilities and trained physicians” in the region but “they are afraid to do so because they fear prosecution for providing material support.”