For Immediate Release
CAIR Sues for Return of Va. Muslim on No-Fly List
Muslim civil rights group claims listing amounts to 'effective banishment'
WASHINGTON - 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
[BREAKING UPDATE: A hearing on CAIR's
lawsuit is scheduled for 2 p.m. today in United 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.
Video: Virginia Muslim Teen Stuck Overseas (CAIR)
CAIR: Va. Man Held in Kuwait Unable to Board Flight to U.S. (Wash. Post)
The U.S. Role in Gulet Mohamed's Detention (Salon)
Lawyer: FBI Illegally Interrogating Gulet Mohamed (Mother Jones)
Detained American Says F.B.I. Pressed Him (NY Times)
CAIR is asking the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia for a temporary 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
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.