Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: Islamic Shura Council v. United States of America

On September 16, 2014, the IHRC, with its in-country counterpart, the ACLU SoCal, filed a petition on behalf of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the Council on American Islamic Relations of California (“CAIR”), the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley, the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, the West Coast Islamic Center, the Human Assistance and Development International, Inc., Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Shakeel Syed, Hussam Ayloush, Mohammed Abdul Aleem, and Rafe Husain before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the United Stated of America, alleging violations of the right to freedom of investigation, opinion, expression and dissemination as provided for under Article IV and their right to a fair trial under Article XVIII of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man.

The basis for this petition is that, through the course of a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and subsequent federal litigation, the Government of the United States of America lied and misled Petitioners and a United States District Court as to the content and scope of surveillance information it had gathered about Petitioners, deliberately impeding Petitioners’ right to access Government-held information and compromising the adequacy and effectiveness of the judicial recourse Petitioners sought. To this date, there exists total impunity with respect to the Government’s actions in this case and there is no simple, prompt and effective remedy under domestic law that can bring redress to individuals whose right to access to information has been violated in such a manner.