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Man Sues U.S. Over Customs Detentions

June 29, 2005|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — A U.S.-born Muslim who says he has been unjustly detained and questioned at customs checkpoints sued the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday over the "degrading process."

In the complaint filed in Chicago federal court, Akifur Rahman said customs agents had held him for several hours on four occasions since March 2004 while he was reentering the U.S. from abroad, even though he had proper identification.

According to his lawsuit, Rahman, of suburban Wheaton, received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security in April saying his problems stemmed from an "unfortunate misidentification."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and "the adoption of adequate policies to ensure the reasonably expeditious reentry" of U.S. citizens whose names are similar or identical to those on watch lists.

American Civil Liberties Union lawyers representing Rahman are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit.

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