Press Releases

Civil Rights Groups Welcome Legal Victory Against ‘No-Fly’ List

Rahina-Ibrahim(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 1/15/14) — Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ-ALC) and the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today welcomed a ruling issued yesterday finding that the government violated Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim's rights when it placed her on the “no-fly” list.

The lawsuit, filed by San Jose-based McManis-Faulkner in 2006 on behalf of the mother of four children and PhD student at Stanford University, alleged that the government violated Dr. Ibrahim's due process rights when it placed her on the “no-fly” list. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Ibrahim had standing to challenge the government's actions, ordered the government to correct Ibrahim's position on the “no-fly” list and to disclose to her what is her current status on the “no-fly” list.

SEE: Trial Judge Finds for Plaintiff Dr. Ibrahim in No-Fly Case

The lawsuit is the oldest of three currently being litigated to challenge the government's secretive “no-fly” list, which effectively bars individuals the government often mistakenly believes to pose a security threat from flying. The Obama administration vehemently opposed Ibrahim's lawsuit, sought to keep the December trial secret and is currently requesting that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals keep the ruling sealed.

SEE: Va. Muslim's No-Fly List Case Clears Legal Hurdle
Federal Court Sides with ACLU in NoFly List Lawsuit

AAAJ-ALC and CAIR-SFBA frequently receive complaints from and provide legal representation for American Muslims who face travel delays due to government watch lists, have been visited by the FBI and believe to have been placed on the “no-fly” list.

SEE: CAIR Lawsuit Challenges Government's 'No-Fly' List (Video)
Video: CAIR-LA Holds News Conference with Med Student on No-Fly List Detained in Bangkok

“Judge Alsup's ruling affirms that basic notions of transparency and accountability apply to even the U.S. government's 'no-fly' list. We welcome this ruling and look forward to further clarity as to how one can navigate the maze created by the 'no-fly' list and other similar listings,” said AAAJ–ALC staff attorney Nasrina Bargzie.

“This victory has been a long time coming,” said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo. “Each year our offices hear from hundreds of individuals who are visited by the FBI and face related travel issues. Many have lost hope about clearing their names, but this case will renew our collective desire to continue forward with the courts on our side.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation's first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

CAIR-SFBA is an office of CAIR, 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: AAAJ-ALC Staff Attorney Nasrina Bargzie, 925.330.1163, nasrinab@advancingjustice-alc.org; CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885, zbilloo@cair.com; CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 202.742.6410, 720.251.0425, gabbas@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202.744.7726, ihooper@cair.com

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