August 16, 2004

NIAC Alert: Civil Liberties and the Iranian-American Community

Washington, DC – In recent weeks, NIAC has learned of an alarming number of reports of discrimination and racial profiling in what seems to be a new round of government enforcement of national-origin based security policies.

Reported incidents include:

• A new round of FBI interrogations of Iranian Americans and members of other Middle Eastern     and Muslim communities;
• FBI investigations based on national origin and or past or present activities related to cultural     or religious identities;
• Security clearances being revoked and denied due to Iranian national origin;
• Firings and other employment and personal discrimination based on unclear government           directives;
• Deportations of Iranians based on minor immigration technicalities and other infractions.

NIAC urges members of the community who have faced such incidents to come forward and share their cases with NIAC. NIAC will be working closely with civil rights organizations to bring the needed attention to these cases.

The Department of Justice, through a Special Counsel for Post 9-11 National Origin Discrimination, has also contacted NIAC and requested information about discrimination and hate crimes to be forwarded to their Civil Rights Division.

NIAC will only share information with the explicit permission of individuals.

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