American Photojournalist Interrogated For 10 Hours In Miami Airport Because He Was Of Arab Descent

Like many photojournalists, Paris-born American, Kim Badawi travels around the globe to capture moments of current events.

Upon entering Miami International Airport to travel to see family for the holidays, he did not realize that his career endeavors would land him in a 10-hour interrogation with U.S. officials.

In consecutive tweets, Badawi publically reported that he was subjected to “psychological torture” as well as “unfounded accusations.”

Though he holds a blue passport, he endured hours of questioning about his nationality, personal political stances on the Syrian refugee crisis, and potential links to any terrorists involved in the recent Paris attacks.

Once the U.S. officials detained Badawi, they confiscated his phone without allowing him to contact his partner who was frantically waiting for him to continue their connecting flight.

The U.S. officials examined every contact, email, and WhatsApp message on his phone. He claims that he was forced to explain and justify conversations and threads dating back ten years ago, particularly those having any mention of the Middle East.

During the intense interrogation session, he reported that two screens were placed in the corners of the room, blasting special reports on Muslims in France, Terrorism, and the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

Badawi stated to BuzzFeed News that he answered all questions diplomatically and was a “transparent person.”

This was referring to his belief that all information given to the officials could have been easily substantiated through a Google search of his name.

During the interrogation, Badawi’s partner inquired about his location and the evolving situation.

One official, allegedly, went as far as to claim that Badawi had never been on the flight with her prior to their arrival at the Miami airport.

After producing documentation of his boarding pass, the official reportedly expressed that Badawi’s partner did not know who Badawi was and that he was involved in “terrible things.”

Badawi is currently working on a Syrian refugee photography project that highlights the experience of refugees.

He began his photojournalism career by shooting migrant families from Mississippi to Texas after Hurricane Katrina.

According to the French-American Foundation, Badawi’s skilled photography led him around the globe to also document the Arab Spring.

Rise News reached out to Badawi and will update this story when we hear back. 

Cover Photo Credit:Kim Badawi/ Facebook (Screengrab)

H/T: Miami New Times

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About the Author
"Ashley Perry is a senior at the University of Alabama studying Social Work and Spanish. She has interned at the Department of Defense's Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and plans to continue her studies in Human Rights at the University College of Dublin in Dublin, Ireland."
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