Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld the government’s blanket surveillance of the country’s Muslim community.
The court struck down the second appeal by Japanese Muslim plaintiffs against what they perceive as an unconstitutional invasion of their privacy and freedom of religion.
A 2010 leak of 114 police files revealed nationwide surveillance of Japanese Muslims. The files revealed that Muslim places of worship, halal restaurants and Islam-related organisations across the capital, Tokyo, were being monitored.
Within a few weeks of the leak, the data had been downloaded 10,000 times in 20 different countries from a file-sharing website.
A group of 17 Japanese Muslims, mostly from Middle Eastern and North African countries, decided to sue the Japanese government for infringing on their constitutional rights.