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ACLU challenges US exclusion of South Africa scholar

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] in federal court Tuesday against the US Department of State and the US Department of Homeland Security [official websites], alleging that the US government is illegally preventing South African scholar and professor Adam Habib [academic profile] from entering the country. According to the ACLU, Habib had traveled freely to and from the US, frequently speaking at universities and organizations, until his visa was suddenly revoked last October. Last month, the ACLU criticized [press release] the State Department for failing to reissue Habib's US visa. Tuesday's complaint alleges that Habib, who is an outspoken critic of US terrorism policies and the war in Iraq, is being censored at the border for political reasons, and that his exclusion violates the First Amendment rights of US citizens and organizations who are being denied his perspectives.

Last year, the ACLU brought a similar lawsuit [JURIST report] against the US for denying Swiss Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan [ACLU profile] entry into the United States under the ideological exclusion provision [ACLU backgrounder; CIS report] of the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive]. Ramadan was unable to accept speaking invitations at various functions and a teaching invitation at the University of Notre Dame in 2004 after his visa was revoked. The ACLU launched a new website [advocacy website] Tuesday, profiling other scholars and politicians that have been similarly kept out of the US. AP has more.

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