CAIR-MI Files EEO Complaint on Behalf of Albanian-American Muslim CBP Officer
Muslim officer allegedly charged, harassed, threatened, and denied promotion for refusing to become informant
(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 10/7/2016) – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today announced that it has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on behalf of an Albanian-American Muslim CBP officer.
On multiple occasions in 2015, Dimitri Qafko was allegedly harassed and threatened by CBP Internal Affairs Officers in an attempt to coerce him into becoming an informant and infiltrating Albanian gangs and smugglers. When Qafko refused to cooperate because of fear for his safety and that of his family, Internal Affairs levied charges against him, which resulted in a proposal to terminate his employment. He was immediately relieved of his firearm and placed on restrictive administrative duties for the next six months.
The proposal to terminate Qafko’s employment was later reduced to a three-day calendar suspension, and one of the charges was dropped. Nonetheless, Qafko has since been wrongfully denied 18 promotions for which he is qualified and eligible.
“We have seen a steady increase in cases of government officials intimidating, harassing and coercing American Muslims to become government informants,” said CAIR-MI Legal Director Lena Masri. “Retaliating against Mr. Qafko by levying charges against him, suspending him and denying him promotions for which he is both qualified and eligible is not only a clear violation of his rights, but conduct that should not be tolerated in today’s society.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Legal Director Lena Masri, (248) 390-9784, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org