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“Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras has taken the U.S. government to task through her work as a filmmaker, and, unsurprisingly, she’s gotten a direct message about how that’s gone over with the powers that be in Washington. (Hint: not well.)

Turns out that Poitras has been held up and hassled at various airports more than 50 times over the last half-dozen years, according to a lawsuit she filed Monday against the Department of Justice and two other prominent parties. Common Dreams relayed the details Tuesday:

Poitras, who won an Academy Award last year for Citizenfour, the documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, said she has been detained, searched without warrant, interrogated for hours, and had vital belongings confiscated more than 50 times over the course of six years—without ever being charged with a crime.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit names the DOJ, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and demands the release of all records from those agencies on Poitras.

In a statement on Monday, the filmmaker, who is being represented by the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), made clear that her lawsuit stood for more than just her own experiences.

“I’m filing this lawsuit because the government uses the U.S. border to bypass the rule of law,” Poitras said. “This simply should not be tolerated in a democracy. I am also filing this suit in support of the countless other less high-profile people who have also been subjected to years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders. We have a right to know how this system works and why we are targeted.”

Read the text of Poitras’ FOIA complaint here.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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