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Responding to reports that overnight the US Department of Homeland Security has decided to issue new airline requirements for eight Muslim-majority countries, forbidding passengers from bringing on board any electronic device larger than a cellphone, Naureen Shah, Senior Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International USA, said:

“While there may be legitimate security reasons behind this decision, President Trump’s blatant anti-Muslim rhetoric and the total lack of explanation about these new restrictions raises serious concerns that this could be yet more bigotry disguised as policy. This could be the latest in what looks set to be a long line of discriminatory measures deployed by the Trump administration against Muslims around the world. 

“This administration has consistently used “national security” as shorthand for discriminating against Muslims, and we fear this latest decision may be no different. Muslims are once again left in the dark as the U.S administration piles up bans and restrictions against them.

“These new requirements could also pose serious risks to journalists and human rights defenders, who will be forced to hand over laptops and devices containing sensitive information, potentially compromising their sources.”