Monday, October 29, 2012

New York Muslim Stranded in Germany by No-Fly List
(NEW YORK, NY, 10/17/12) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today urged the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allowSamir Suljovic, a 26-year-old New York resident and American citizen, to return home from Germany.
Suljovic traveled to Montenegro this summer to visit family and friends. After trying to fly back home to New York on October 1, he was informed by airline agents in Austria that the DHS and CBP had asked foreign authorities to prevent him from boarding his flight. Suljovic has been stranded for 17 days and has repeatedly been denied the right to fly home to New York. He has contacted the DHS and CBP liaison at JFK International Airport, but has received no response.
Despite being advised to seek help from the U.S. embassy in Germany, embassy personnel have reportedly provided no assistance, and instead have interrogated Suljovic and allegedly searched his cell phone without his permission.
Suljovic was born and raised in Oakland Gardens, Queens.
A letter addressed to Secretary of State Hilary ClintonDHS Secretary Janet NapalitanoNew York members of the United States Congress, and the United States Embassy in Munich was sent by CAIR-NY expressing concern and disappointment in the government's role in preventing Suljovic from returning to his family in New York.
The letter reads in part:
"The denial of Mr. Suljovic's right to return home without due process of law constitutes a grave violation of his civil rights and liberties.  Instead of protecting this young U.S. citizen while he traveled abroad, the government has effectively stranded him in an unfamiliar country without shelter or protection."
Earlier this year, CAIR called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate acts of "coercion and intimidation" allegedly used by the FBI to pressure Muslim citizens into giving up their constitutional rights if they wished to return to the United States from overseas.
Last year, CAIR filed a lawsuit against the DOJ and the FBI seeking a court order to allow a Virginia Muslim teenager who had been detained in Kuwait and placed on a U.S. government no-fly list to return to the United States.
CAIR-NY is a chapter of 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.

Follow CAIR-New York on Twitter
Like CAIR-New York on Facebook
Join CAIR-New York's Email List
- END -
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad, 347-296-7966,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

Please help support our work.

No comments: