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Part of Patriot Act Ruled Unconstitutional

At NY Times (available free one week with registration)



Published: January 26, 2004
Filed at 4:26 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a
portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or
assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations.


The case before the court involved five groups and two U.S. citizens
seeking to provide support for lawful, nonviolent activities on behalf of
Kurdish refugees in Turkey.

The Humanitarian Law Project, which brought the lawsuit, said the
plaintiffs were threatened with 15 years in prison if they advised groups
on seeking a peaceful resolution of the Kurds' campaign for
self-determination in Turkey.


"The USA Patriot Act places no limitation on the type of expert advice and
assistance which is prohibited and instead bans the provision of all
expert advice and assistance regardless of its nature," the judge said.