Dear governments of the world considering repressive measures disguised as counterterrorism,

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) does NOT require that you violate human rights. In fact, they’ve asked you to use a risk-based approach when enacting laws to counter the financing of terrorism and tailor them to specifically target money laundering and terrorist financing – nothing less, nothing more.

Somehow, many of you have come to the erroneous conclusion that restricting the work of charities, silencing protestors and limiting the right of assembly is somehow going to stop violent extremists from beefing up their coffers. We just want to set the record straight.

Unfortunately, your names are too numerous to list in their entirety. We’ve had an eye on you, UK, as you attempt to silence charities in their advocacy. And you, Egypt, with your restrictions on association.

Lately, however, you’ve become a bit bolder and now you’re attempting to pin the blame on FATF. Maybe you’re confused. Maybe you thought no one would notice.

Yes, you, Guyana. Last fall you tried to tell us that it was the standard-setting organization’s fault that your anti-terrorism bill, which the Guyana Human Rights Association said “would allow the State to perpetrate serious violations of due process and fair trial rights,” was up for consideration. Your attorney general was quoted as saying that the bill is crucial to meeting the requirements of the FATF. Say what?

And you, Brazil, considering a new law that would brand protesters as terrorists. You keep insisting that the FATF is to blame. With the Olympics around the corner, we thought you’d be more careful. Your work has not gone unnoticed. You’ll need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

You know better. Or you should. What nexus could there possibly be between protesting or advocacy and terrorist financing?

For the record, we know better. And we’ll do our best to make sure you do too.


Charity & Security Network