Wednesday

14th Nov 2018

EU court annuls assets freeze for two terror list members

The EU's court of justice on Wednesday (11 July) overturned a decision by member states to freeze the assets of Philippine rebel leader Jose Maria Sison and the Al-Aqsa foundation, based in the Netherlands.

The Luxembourg-based court of first instance found that EU governments had breached the rights of both parties - who are both on the EU terror list - by not telling them why their assets had been frozen.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

It also found that they had not been given sufficient rights of defence or to effective judicial protection.

The court did not rule on whether the two should be completely removed from the list.

Mr Sison, now living in the Netherlands, was put on the terror list in October 2002. He was placed on the list as a member of the ''New People's Army,'' the armed wing of the Communist Party in the Philippines.

He argued that he has not been a member of the communist party since being imprisoned in the 1970s in the Philippines.

In June 2003 the Al-Aqsa was put on list. The foundation describes itself as an Islamic social welfare institution, and says it does not have any political links.

The Dutch government put the foundation's name forward to go on the list and freeze its assets arguing that transfers of funds were intended for organisations supporting terrorism in the Near East, in particular the Islamic movement Hamas – also on the EU's terror list.

The court decision is another blow to the standing of the bloc's terror list, established in the aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington.

Last December the court asked EU governments to look into a 2002 decision on whether the People's Mujahadeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), a Paris-based Iranian opposition group, should be on the terror register and have its assets frozen.

The pressure caused by that court decision has led to some changes to the way the list is run, with all groups on the list now sent statements of reasoning.

But PMOI are suing the EU claiming the court decision means that it should be taken off the list altogether. The council, representing member states, argues it is complying with the ruling by sending PMOI information on why it is on the list.

The list is dominated by Islamic organisations such as Hamas, but also features the Kurdish PKK group, the Tamil Tigers, ETA and Colombian rebels FARC. It is supposed to be reviewed at least every six months.

EU keeps Iran opposition group on terror list

The EU has kept Iran opposition group PMOI on its new list of terrorist entities in a controversial move likely to spark complaints from MEPs as well as Danish and Italian parliamenterians.

EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press

Romania's data protection authority has threatened a €20m fine against reporters investigating high-level corruption. The European Commission has since issued a warning, telling Romanian authorities to give press exemptions when it comes to privacy rights.

Romania 'using EU data protection law to silence journalists'

An award-winning journalism outlet in Romania is being threatened with fines by the country's data protection authorities - for having disclosed connections, on Facebook, of powerful politicians and a firm embroiled in scandal.

Visual Data

Asylum seekers appealing returns must get own travel documents

The European Commission wants to increase the return rates of rejected asylum seekers, following pressure from EU states. But the reforms proposed seek to increase detention, and put people who are appealing their decisions at risk.

News in Brief

  1. Draft Brexit deal on London cabinet agenda on Wednesday
  2. EU proposes no visa for UK citizens after Brexit
  3. EU parliament 'deeply concerned' on Romania judiciary
  4. Macedonia's ex-PM flees to Hungary, seeks asylum
  5. Cyprus opens first new border crossings in eight years
  6. Putin's Austrian dance partner cancels Moscow visit
  7. Political deadlock over Sweden Democrat influence
  8. Court: Catalan referendum organisers must repay costs

Opinion

Interpol, China and the EU

China joins a long list of countries - including Russia - accused of abusing Interpol's 'Red Notice' system to harras activists and dissidents.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. EU to review animal welfare strategy
  2. Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?
  3. Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army
  4. Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline
  5. EU action on Hungary and Poland drowns in procedure
  6. EU unable to fully trace €1bn spent on refugees in Turkey
  7. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  8. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us