Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA

Along with the stupid shutdown that caused my trip to Sacramento to be cancelled — I planned to testify at a Fish and Wildlife Services hearing to protest the potential delisting of the wolf from the Endangered Species List– now we can add loss of freedom of speech to the many ways our government is no longer for the people, by the people. Right. I am disgusted with everything and everyone political. This country is shameful and heinous to not allow this learned man to enter the good old U.S of A. Just plain stupid.

FROM HuffPost Live  |  By Erin McDonoughPosted: 10/01/2013 4:29 pm EDT

According to Der Spiegel, German-Bulgarian writer and activist Ilija Trojanow was barred from entering the United States on Monday. Spiegel reports that Congress extended an invitation to Trojanow, who was to speak at a literary conference. HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin took a closer look at the story, which has yet to be covered by most major news sources in the U.S.

While U.S. authorities did not provide Trojanow with a formal explanation, he believes he has been banned from the US because of his outspoken criticism of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

In an article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungTrojanow voiced his frustration with the incident. “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free,’” he said.

Trojanow has written an open letter denouncing the NSA in addition to signing a petition that asks German Chancellor Angela Merkel to forcefully oppose NSA surveillance. He is a professor at The European Graduate School and co-author of a book that examines the surveillance state, with fellow German novelist Juli Zeh.

Zeh also expressed outrage following Trojanow’s detainment in an airport in Brazil. A Facebook post by Zeh, loosely translated, reads, “ This is a farce. Pure paranoia. People who stand up for civil rights are treated as enemies of the state.”

News of Trojanow’s denied entry into the U.S. coincided with the announcement that the U.S. government had been shut down by Congress. Shihab-Eldin drew attention to the overlapping stories.

“So there you have it, even an invitation from Congress can’t guarantee you entry into the U.S.,” he said, “’cause we needed another example of Congressional futility today.”