Published Jul 14, 2015Last year, director Laura Poitras won an Academy Award for her Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour. Hardly her first film, it was another in a long lineage of works that are critical of the U.S. government and its policy. Not helping their case any, the government has also allegedly harassed Poitras for years. As such, she's filed a new lawsuit.
As The Intercept reports, Poitras has filed suit against the government for what she calls "Kafkaesque harassment."
According to the director, she was held at borders over 50 times between 2006 and 2012, often kept for hours. She was told she was on a "no fly" list, threatened for taking notes and had her electronic equipment confiscated.
"I'm filing this lawsuit because the government uses the U.S. border to bypass the rule of law," Poitras said in a statement to The Intercept, which she co-founded with Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. She added that she hopes to raise awareness about others who "are also subjected to years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders."
When Greenwald published an article about Poitras' ongoing border trouble in Salon in 2012, the hassles mysteriously slowed down.
Poitras is being represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose senior legal counsel said, "The well-documented difficulties Ms. Poitras experienced while traveling strongly suggest that she was improperly targeted by federal agencies as a result of her journalistic activities.... Those agencies are now attempting to conceal information that would shed light on tactics that appear to have been illegal. We are confident that the court will not condone the government's attempt to hide its misconduct under a veil of 'national security.'"
In addition to Citizenfour, Poitras' films include Flag Wars, The Oath and My Country, My Country.