CAIR Sues for Return of Va. Muslim on No-Fly List Muslim civil rights group claims listing amounts to 'effective banishment'
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/18/11) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking a court order that would allow a Virginia Muslim teenager detained in Kuwait and placed on a U.S. government "no-fly" list to return to the United States.
[BREAKING UPDATE: A hearing on CAIR's lawsuit is scheduled for 2 p.m. today inUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Va.CAIR attorneys will be available for interviews following the hearing. CONTACT: CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili, 202-646-6034, e-Mail: email@example.com]
On Sunday, Gulet Mohamed of Alexandria, Va., was prevented from boarding a flight to the United States despite having a ticket that Kuwaiti officials had encouraged his family to purchase. Mohamed has alleged that he has been tortured while in detention and has faced unconstitutional coercion to answer questions by FBI agents who ignored his repeated requests for legal representation.
CAIR is asking the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for atemporary restraining order and preliminary injunction based on the government's violation of Mohamed's Fourteenth Amendment right to reside in United States and to re-enter the country from abroad, which the suit terms "effective banishment."
The lawsuit states in part: "The United States is depriving Mr. Mohamed of perhaps the most basic prerogative of American citizenship: the right to be in the United States. This is patently unconstitutional, and it is up to this Court to bring Gulet Mohamed -- an American citizen -- back to his country."
The defendants named in CAIR's lawsuit include Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Terrorist Screening Center Director Timothy Healy, and their respective agencies.
CAIR previously sent a letter to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting a civil rights investigation of Mohamed's case and seeking clarification as to whether American authorities were complicit in the Virginia Muslim's detention and alleged torture.
Within the past year, CAIR dealt with a number of cases in which American Muslim citizens were denied re-entry to their own country.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com