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Humanitarian Law Project
By Jean Pearce
April 14, 2004

Attorneys Seek to Dismiss Holy Land Foundation Prosecution
By Militant Islam Monitor
December 13, 2006

Unholy Alliance: How the Left Supports the Terrorists at Home
By David Horowitz
September 24, 2004


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8124 West 3rd Street - Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA
Phone :(213) 999-1037
Fax :(323) 658-6306
Email :
URL: Website
Humanitarian Law Project (HLP)'s Visual Map

  • Anti-American “human rights” organization
  • Has provided legal representation and technical assistance to two Marxist terrorist groups – the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and the Kurdistan Workers Party
  • Founder Aris Anagnos is a longtime bankroller of Marxist causes

Founded in 1985, the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) describes itself as "a non-profit organization … dedicated to protecting human rights and promoting the peaceful resolution of conflict by using established international human rights laws and humanitarian law." "Our long-term objectives," says HLP, "are to strengthen human rights standards ratified by nations around the globe and to foster communication on compelling international human rights issues among human rights activists, law faculty and students, members of Congress and their staffs, as well as interested citizens."

HLP is a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the United Nations, with a “mandate to seek compliance with armed conflict laws.”

HLP was created by Los Angeles real estate magnate Aris Anagnos, who since the early 1970s has bankrolled Marxist causes around the globe -- including the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, the Marxist rebels in Chiapas, and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Whenever the United States has been involved in conflicts with Marxist adversaries, HLP has sided with the latter. In 1988, for instance, prior to a scheduled human rights summit between American and Soviet leaders, HLP attorney Karen Parker led a press conference in New York to assure the Soviets that contrary to U.S. rhetoric, the real human rights problems were not in Russia but in America. American human rights violations had reached "truly mass proportions," said HLP, not the least of which was the tragedy of "the starving, the homeless."

HLP shares an address (at the Los Angeles Peace Center, located at 8124 West 3rd Street in Los Angeles) with Aris Anagnos' real estate company and dozens of other loosely intertwined leftist organizations based therein. The Center is funded by the Carolyn & Aris Anagnos Peace Center Foundation as a rent-free home for progressive organizations. Among the groups with office space in the Peace Center are: Americans for Democratic Action, the Coalition for World Peace, Democratic Socialists of America, and the National Lawyers Guild. At one time, Pacifica Radio station KPFK's local advisory board held its meetings at the Peace Center. HLP Executive Director Lydia Brazon sits on Pacifica's Board, which Leslie Cagan had chaired until April 2004.

In January 2004, HLP scored a legal victory it had long been seeking when a Los Angeles Federal District Court judge struck down parts of the Patriot Act. At issue, in particular, was the provision in the Act which barred American groups like HLP from providing advice and non-military aid to known terrorist organizations. This restriction was challenged on HLP’s behalf by the Center for Constitutional Rights. HLP claimed that it wished to provide support for “only the lawful activities” of two organizations designated as terrorist entities by the U.S. government: (a) the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, responsible for over 200 suicide bombings and the assassinations in the early 1990s of the prime ministers of India and Sri Lanka; and (b) the Kurdistan Workers Party, a Syrian-backed, Marxist, Kurdish nationalist organization that sought to establish an independent state in southeast Turkey in the 1980s and '90s, and engaged in the massacre of civilian villages where its dogma was opposed, leaving an estimated 30,000 dead.

Prior to the court ruling in its favor, HLP complained that “the broad Patriot Act ban on providing ‘expert advice and assistance’ [to such terrorist organizations] has led [humanitarian] groups to fear providing … support, for fear of facing criminal sanctions.”

HLP has made many damning reports about the U.S. before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, as well as on the floor of the UN, mostly about "atrocities" allegedly committed in or by the United States, particularly during both Iraq wars. On November 22, 2004, HLP submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, charging that U.S. troops in Fallujah, Iraq had deliberately attacked hospitals and medical personnel, in some cases torturing and murdering innocent civilians.

HLP was also behind the well-publicized international accusations (unsupported by any evidence) that the U.S. committed "atrocities" in both Iraq wars by using bombs tipped with depleted uranium. "Our organization considers the Iraq situation an atrocity followed by a catastrophe," testified Karen Parker, who for years has represented HLF before the United Nations. "The international community simply must respond or risk being overtaken in every way by a power [the U.S.] that did not and does not intend to abide by the principles of humanitarian law carefully carved out since the first Geneva Convention." HLP calls for the U.S. to be prosecuted for its alleged war crimes by the World Court, which HLP considers "the highest legal body in the world."

Viewing the United States as the world's principal agent of international strife, HLP identifies American disarmament as one of its chief objectives. In July 2003, in testimony before a UN Commission on Human Rights subcommittee, Karen Parker claimed that the fate of the entire world depended upon the "true disarmament" of the U.S. "The smaller, poorer countries cannot possibly keep up with 'arm-chair' wars or they will bankrupt themselves," she said. "Even the other developed countries are far, far behind this technological madness. If the United States is allowed to use and develop these weapons, all other countries are reduced to peonage at the mercy of the United States."

In HLP's estimation, victims of American-perpetrated torture are not limited to innocents in foreign lands. For example, in recent years HLP has classfied Los Angeles gang members targeted by the L.A. Police Department as "torture" victims. Similarly, in 1997 HLP called Whitewater figure Susan McDougal a "torture victim" and a "political prisoner" -- because she had been jailed for refusing to testify against President Bill Clinton; HLP petitioned the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate McDougal's case.

In December 2006, HLP and the Center for Constitutional Rights jointly petitioned a federal judge to dismiss many of the charges brought against the Hamas-linked organization Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which in 2001 was shut down by the U.S. government because of its terrorist ties. Defense attorneys argued that Executive Order 13224, the statute under which HLF was named as a financier of terrorism, is overly broad.

HLP’s President is Ralph D. Fertig, a University of Southern California assistant professor and a supporting member of the Campaign Against Criminalizing Communities.

David Cole, an attorney with the Constitutional Rights Foundation and a professor at Georgetown University School of Law, is a strong supporter of HLP and has made oral arguments on its behalf.



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