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Press release by the Council of the Alkarama Foundation

As announced in its press release of 24 December 2013, the Council of the Alkarama Foundation has been meeting regularly in recent days to discuss the measures to be taken to deal with the U.S. Treasury Department's decision to qualify Dr. Abd al- Rahman Omair Al Naimi as "Specially Designated International Terrorist".

As soon as he learned about the U.S. decision, Mr. Al Naimi informed the Council of the Foundation that he would resign from the Council so as not to "harm the organization" and to " dedicate himself to demonstrating that the serious accusations against him by the US authorities are baseless and false". The Council initially decided to accept the resignation of Mr. Al Naimi.

However, after consultation with lawyers, including from the United States, as well as with Alkarama's partners, and long discussions among members of the Council, a majority of the Council decided that the resignation was not the appropriate solution. The Council has therefore reversed its decision and rejected the resignation of Mr. Al Naimi.

Mr. Al Naimi has submitted an affidavit in which he refutes the accusations of the US Treasury Department and asserts his readiness to appear in court to defend himself. This affidavit has been officially delivered to the US authorities.

Mr. Alnaimi is well known in the region for his political positions opposing foreign military intervention as well as his opposition to regimes violating the rights of their citizens in the region. He has always done so within the boundaries of international law. It is therefore likely that it is these very positions that have led repressive governments in the region to provide false information to the US authorities to encourage them to take such a decision.

It is also unfortunate that some officials in the region and the media did not hesitate after the announcement of the U.S. decision to sow doubts about Alkarama by claiming that it is, as an organization, targeted by the US decision, thereby attempting to discredit its work and that of its Arab and international partners.

Alkarama considers that it is not only the president of its Council - in his own personal capacity - who is affected by this decision, but also the organization and its work in defending human rights in the Arab world.

The last twelve years have shown, unfortunately, that the U.S. Administration's "black-lists" have affected many innocent people. The list of individuals and organizations designated in this way by the US since 2001 is long and it took many years for those unjustly accused to be removed from these lists, causing irreparable harm to their honor and their work on the basis of totally unfounded charges.

It is unacceptable that today, a state, be it the most powerful in the world, can continue to make arbitrary decisions, to the point of summarily executing individuals, without any due judicial process and without any possible remedy to challenge these actions. It also becomes clear that the alibi of the "fight against terrorism" is again becoming the central argument in the Arab region to stifle civil society and hinder any process of establishing the rule of law and promote fundamental freedoms.

The Alkarama Foundation will pursue its mission with the dedication and professionalism that are recognized by its various partners, in accordance with the values and principles that have always guided its work. It will also endeavor to prove wrong any suspicion that taints its reputation.

January 8, 2014
The Council of the Alkarama Foundation