Katharina Nocun, policy coordinator of the Pirate Party of Germany, comments on the United States’ refusal to grant entry to the German writer, surveillance critic and civil liberties activist Ilja Trojanow:
“The recurring immigration and flight bans on critics of US policies  constitute an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech. EU member states should react to the Trojanow case by making a coordinated effort to change the arbitrary US immigration policy, which is stifling peaceful exchanges among our peoples. In collaboration with Latin
American and other concerned states, Europe should make it clear to President Obama that criticism voiced by journalists, civil liberties activists or writers must not be punished.
“Europe must not, however, react by adopting the US security mania and setting up a ‘smart borders’ programme as currently proposed by the EU commission. Instead Europe should, if necessary, threaten the US with economic sanctions and decreased cooperation for as long as human rights are trampled on at US borders.
“For years and with growing concern we have been watching US air traffic practices that fundamentally violate human rights, such as the blanket surveillance, registration, biometric cataloguing and profiling of visitors, extra-judicial interrogations, arrests, searches and seizures of laptops and mobile phones at airports as well as the keeping of arbitrary no-fly lists – including airspace bans. Since 2001 the US has turned from a ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’ into a Land of the Imprisoned and Home of the Fearful. As not everybody is as perseverant as Ilja Trojanow, the US homeland security paranoia
threatens to gradually cause a global intellectual brain drain.”
Known cases of US immigration and flight bans on political critics include:
- In 2009 the US prevented journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina (Le Monde Diplomatique) from flying Paris-Mexico on his usual route. Ospina was researching CIA practices and had repeatedly criticised US Latin America policies.
- In 2010 the US prevented Belgian lawyer Paul-Emile Dupret from flying Paris-Mexico on his usual route. Dupret works for the left group in the European Parliament. He is a human rights and anti-globalisation activist.
- In 2010 the US refused to grant a visa to Colombian journalist Hollman Morris. Morris had reported critically on the US-supported drug war in Colombia.
- In 2011 the US refused to let British environmental activist John Stewart enter the country.
The German Pirate Party Programme calls for a halt of the exchange of personal data with US agencies as well as other states that lack effective human rights protections.
For more information on the Trojanow case, please refer to this Deutsche Welle report:
 Protesting letter sent by PEN association of writers: