In an important victory for civil rights, Palestinian American Muhammad Salah has been removed from the US Department of Treasury’s list of “designated terrorists.”
The move was, which announced in notice yesterday on the official Department of Treasury website, came after the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the People’s Law Office, the American Friends Service Committee and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee filed a lawsuit against the government in September challenging the designation, made by the Clinton administration 17 years ago, as unconstitutional.
The designation was made by executive order, with no legal process, no limitation in time, and no process to challenge it. Salah was the only US citizen residing in the US ever to be subjected to such a designation.
As a result of the designation Salah was “not permitted to get a job, pay rent or a mortgage, pay for his children’s education, obtain medical care or even buy a loaf of bread without first obtaining approval from the Treasury Department,” a release from CCR had explained at the time of the lawsuit.
The government decision to remove Salah from the list before the case came to court may indicate that it judged it would lose a case, and thus have its power limited. Salah had previously been tried and acquitted on terrorism related charges, but served a 22 month sentence for a conviction for giving a false answer in a questionnaire that was part of a lawsuit backed by Zionist groups.
A 5 November notice titled “Anti-Terrorism Designations; Anti-Terrorism Designations Removal” on the Department of Treasury website lists Salah, along with many of his personal details.