Muslims sue Japan over terror probe

Tokyo, Japan - A group of Muslims living in Japan have filed a lawsuit against the government following the leak of documents about secret police investigations into their personal lives.

The fourteen Muslim plaintiffs say the so-called anti-terrorism investigations were illegal and violated their freedom of faith, AFP reported Tuesday.

They are now each demanding 11 million Japanese Yen (USD 135,000) in compensation for damages.

In November 2010, more than 100 documents dated 2004 to 2010 were leaked online, giving private details on alleged Muslim terror suspects and police informants in Japan.

The documents, which came from the Tokyo Police Department, included not only names, photos, and addresses, but also details about routine activities of the Muslim individuals such as visits to mosques and internet habits.

According to the group's attorneys, 98 percent of Japan's 72,000 Muslims have been monitored by police.

"It has come clear that if you are a Muslim or have any sort of relations with them, you are immediately put under police surveillance," said lawyer Kazuyuki Azusawa.

Some of the victims of the leak say they cannot even go back to their country because they may be arrested as terror suspects.

Muslims are considered a minority religious sect in Japan, mainly consisting of foreigners. However, Islam is a growing faith in the Asian country and the 14 Japanese involved in the recent lawsuit include some converts.