WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is active in defending persecuted Christians around the globe, today filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration's State Department for failing to provide information about actions the Obama Administration is taking to stop the genocide of Christians by ISIS – the Islamic State.
In July, the ACLJ sent the State Department a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests all aimed at uncovering government records that would show any action by the State Department to respond to or stop the genocide. The State Department has ignored those requests and today the ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C. to force the State Department to show what it has done to confront the ISIS genocide and protect the Christian victims and other religious minorities, or confirm that it hasn't really done anything at all.
"This Administration continues to refuse to acknowledge the enemy and won't engage and eliminate ISIS – which continues its unabated genocide of Christians," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "We participated in a concerted effort to pressure the Obama Administration to finally recognize this slaughter and publicly recognize this eradication as 'genocide.' But what is the Obama Administration doing to stop the genocide? The United States should be a leader in defending and protecting Christians. The world is watching as Christians are put to death simply because of their religious beliefs. That's why it is so important to hold the Obama Administration accountable and to find out exactly what is being done to bring an end to this horrific practice. And that is why we have gone to court to unearth the truth."
In the complaint filed today, the ACLJ notes: "Defendant has a reputation for flaunting and disregarding its public accountability and FOIA obligations."
The lawsuit argues that the State Department failed to comply with the FOIA within 20 business days of receiving the requests as required by the statute.
"Defendant has failed to produce any records responsive to the request, indicate when any responsive records will be produced, or demonstrate that responsive records are exempt from production," the complaint contends. "Through its continued delay in responding to Plaintiff's lawful request for records, and its improper withholding of such requested records, Defendant has failed to comply with FOIA's prescribed deadlines for responding to a request for records and has violated Plaintiff's statutory rights."
The ACLJ has been advocating for the protection of Christians and other religious minorities and the end of genocide for years. We have sent key legal letters to U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and other U.N. bodies, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, the 47 Member States of the U.N. Human Rights Council, and two letters to Secretary of State John Kerry. We've submitted key legal documents and made two oral interventions at the U.N. Human Rights Council. We also filed written observations regarding ISIS atrocities against Iraqi Christians in a case before the European Court of Human Rights.
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice