Press Releases

CAIR-WA: Oral Arguments Today in Case on FBI Surveillance of Muslims

CAIR-logoJudge to hear arguments on whether government can lie to a judge about the existence of documents in response to FOIA requests

(SEATTLE, WA, 6/26/2013) – Later today, a federal appeals court judge in Seattle will hear oral arguments in the case of “Islamic Shura Council v. FBI,” a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force the government to reveal information about the FBI’s surveillance of law-abiding Muslim community leaders and organizations. Many community members will be in attendance.

WHAT: Oral Arguments in the Case of “Islamic Shura Council v. FBI”
WHEN: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 3 p.m.
WHERE: William K. Nakamura Courthouse, 1010 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Civil Rights Coordinator Jennifer Gist, civilrights@wa.cair.com, 206.367.4081; ACLU-WA Communications Director Doug Honig, honig@aclu-wa.org

The event is open to the public. Please bring government issued ID to enter the courthouse. 

This appeal arises out of attempts by Southern California Muslim leaders and organizations to seek documents through the FOIA related to surveillance of the Muslim community. 

To enforce their request, the Muslim groups and leaders had to go to court. During the court proceedings, the judge revealed that the government had lied about the number of responsive documents relating to surveillance of the Muslim community, to the court and to the community. 

Subsequently, the judge entered sanctions against the Government for doing so. The government is appealing the sanctions order, arguing that under its secretive interpretation of FOIA, it is allowed to tell a court that “no responsive documents exist” in response to a request, when in fact such documents do exist.

CAIR-WA is a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. 

CONTACT: CAIR-WA Civil Rights Coordinator Jennifer Gist, civilrights@wa.cair.com, 206.367.4081

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