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Pakistani Sues Airline Over Cell Phone Incident

HOUSTON (CN) - Continental Airlines threw him off a plane in London because he couldn't get his new cell phone to stop beeping, a Pakistani man says. After airline officials turned him over to the police, he was released without charges, and then Continental designated him "undesirable" and refused to put him on another flight.

The airline said he was an "undesirable person," Saquid Fatah claims in Federal Court.

Fatah, 55, says his treatment is just the latest in "a disturbing pattern of discriminatory acts at airports and in U.S. commercial airplanes against United States Citizens perceived to be Arab, especially those engaged in expressive activities that visibly display their ethnic background or religious beliefs. This discrimination has been particularly common following the U.S. government's issuance of heightened security alerts. This case arises out of yet another incident in which a person was targeted and discriminated against by a U.S. airline in the wake of heightened security alerts because he appeared to be of Arab descent."

Fatah seeks punitive damages for racial/nationality discrimination. He is represented by Salar Ahmed.

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