International passengers arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles

Journalist questioned at Dulles International Airport

January 3, 2017

Isma’il Kushkush — a former acting bureau chief of the New York Times in East Africa and International Center for Journalists fellow — was stopped at the border on January 3, 2017, after arriving on a flight from Israel. 

Kushkush, a Sudanese-American dual citizen, told the Committee to Protect Journalists that Customs and Border Protection officers were waiting for him as he got off from the plane and took him to the inspection area where they went through his bags and notebooks. He said that he was detained for about an hour and a half. Officers searched through his notebooks and one officer asked for his cell phone. 

Kushkush has reported being detained at the border on at least five previous occasions between 2013 and 2016. He said that these stops lasted between two to three hours and frequently involved requests for access to his electronic devices.

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