Foreign Critics of NSA Spying and U.S. Drone Warfare Barred from Entering U.S.

Friday, October 04, 2013
Ilija Trojanow

Criticizing the U.S. government’s controversial policies on spying and drone warfare has resulted in foreign nationals being banned from entering the country.

 

One example is the Bulgarian-German writer Ilija Trojanow, who was denied a visa by the State Department.

 

No explanation was provided for why Trojanow did not receive clearance.

 

It was noted in the German press that the award-winning writer had previously signed a protest petition against the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.

 

Trojanow’s visa rejection follows a similar decision by the State Department to deny a Pakistani lawyer who has fought against U.S. drone warfare from entering the U.S. and testifying before Congress.

 

Shahzad Akbar was supposed to accompany his client, Rafiq ur Rehman, who was invited to appear before a congressional panel to discuss the impact of drone attacks on his family.

 

But Akbar was kept out of the U.S., which he had visited on previous occasions after receiving visas.

 

Akbar, a legal fellow with the British human rights group Reprieve and the director of the Pakistan-based Foundation for Fundamental Rights, represents more than 150 survivors of drone attacks and their family members in a lawsuit filed against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and government officials in Pakistan.

 

He also exposed the identity of the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad three years ago, which forced the agency to remove Jonathan Banks from the country. Akbar had named Banks as a defendant in a $500 million wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the brother of two men killed in a CIA drone strike.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

NSA Critic Ilija Trojanov: German Writer Must Not Enter the U.S. (Spiegel Online)

Arbitrariness and Freedom (by Ilija Trojanov, Frankfurter Allgemeine)

The Victims Must be Heard - US to Drone Victims: Shut Up (by Charles Pierson, Uruknet)

State Department Blocks Lawyer of U.S. Drone Strike Survivors from Testifying Before Congress (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)

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