Challenging the Spy-or-No-Fly List


Add to My Calendar Monday, March 2, 2020 6:30pm to 8:30pm


CUNY Law School
2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101

Join the Center for Constitutional Rights and CLEAR for a panel discussion in advance of Supreme Court arguments in Tanzin v. Tanvir, a case brought on behalf of American Muslims who were placed or kept on the No-Fly List by the FBI for refusing to spy on their Muslim communities. 

While the No-Fly List is known for its lack of transparency making it ripe for abuse, it is just one of many coercive tools that law enforcement uses. Extensive surveillance of religious and community spaces, aggressive informant recruitment, and holds on immigration status and other benefits are also used to target and intimidate Muslims and other communities into spying. 

Panelists will share how they are using the law, advocacy, and community awareness to fight back, draw attention to these practices, and demand accountability for law enforcement’s abuse of power.

This event will take place in the Auditorium. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m., and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP.

You can watch the livestream of the panel on the Center for Constitutional Rights Facebook page.


Naveed Shinwari is a plaintiff in the Tanvir lawsuit. Naveed was repeatedly questioned and harassed by the FBI as they attempted to recruit him to spy on his community. As retaliation for his refusal to do so, Naveed was placed on the No-Fly List and unable to travel to Afghanistan to visit his wife and daughters for two years. His fight to hold government officials accountable for their abuse of power continues. On March 24, his case will be argued before the Supreme Court.

Adama Bah is the subject of the film Adama. In 2005, as a teenager, law enforcement authorities detained her for six weeks and separated her from her family, claiming she was a threat. Adama spent the rest of her childhood fighting for her right to stay in this country and providing for her family, eventually receiving asylum. Years later, she found herself on the No-Fly List. To this day, she continues to experience the consequences of harassment and surveillance by law enforcement. 

Diala Shamas is a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on challenging government and law enforcement abuses perpetrated under the guise of national security, both in the U.S. and abroad. Diala has represented individuals who were approached for questioning by local and federal law enforcement, targeted for surveillance, placed on federal watch-lists or who have had immigration benefits withheld on national security grounds, including in the Tanvir case.

She works closely with Yemeni-American communities in their legal and advocacy efforts to challenge the Muslim Ban. She was on the legal team representing plaintiffs in Raza v. City of New York, which challenged the New York City Police Department’s program of suspicionless surveillance of Muslims and resulted in a historic settlement reforming the police department’s practices. 

Ramzi Kassem is the founding director of CLEAR. He is a Professor of Law at the City University of New York where he also co-directs the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic. With his students, colleagues, and co-counsel, he represents prisoners of various nationalities held at Guantánamo Bay and other secret or disclosed American facilities worldwide, New Yorkers and others of all stripes who find themselves in the crosshairs of the sprawling U.S. security state, as well as immigrants and asylum-seekers. Ramzi has litigated criminal, constitutional, immigration, civil rights, wartime detention, and war crime cases at all levels of the federal judiciary, before military commissions and international tribunals, and in various administrative proceedings. He will be arguing before the Supreme Court on March 24. 

Before joining the CUNY law faculty, Ramzi taught at Yale and Fordham. His interests include issues at the intersection of law and security, the legal and policy responses to the September 11th attacks and other real or perceived national security crises, policing and surveillance, the rights of minorities and non-citizens, and international humanitarian law.

Ramzi is a graduate of Columbia College and holds law degrees from Columbia Law School, where he was a Senior Editor for the Columbia Law Review, and from the Sorbonne.

Moderated by Center for Constitutional Rights Advocacy Program Manager Aliya Hussain.


Last modified 

March 10, 2020