Mick Meaney, rinf.com |
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sued the US government for blocking the public from taking photos and recording video footage at international border crossings.
The ACLU claims the ban violates the Constitution.
The lawsuit was filed as a result of two activists who had their photos deleted by U.S. authorities, when attempting to document possible human rights abuses at California-Mexico border crossings.
Speaking to the L.A. Times, David Loy, legal director of the ACLU in San Deigo said:
“The border is not a Constitution-free zone. Border agents are not above the law, and the law guarantees our right to hold them accountable by documenting their conduct.”
Activists claim that border inspectors have used excessive force and performed humiliating body searches on travelers.
The alleged abuse includes inspectors handcuffing a woman’s ankle to a pole, an inspector striking a man in the face and chaining a man to a wall.
A 42-year-old man, Anastasio Hernandez, died after federal authorities repeadly shot him with a stun gun at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing.
The ACLU has provided 11 examples of misconduct at crossings in California, Arizona and Texas and urged Homeland Security to investigate each one.
Sean Riordan, an attorney for the ACLU in San Diego said:
“By no means do we believe we have captured the scope or the depth of the problem. We believe we have barely scratched the surface.”