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Japan's Supreme Court has upheld the government's blanket surveillance of the country's Muslim community.

1 japan muslims pray japanese

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.

Mohamed Fujita, a native of Japan who converted to Islam over 20 years ago, is one of the 17 plaintiffs fighting the surveillance.

He told Al Jazeera: "They made us terrorist suspects, we never did anything wrong - on the contrary."

The Supreme Court finally dismissed the case after two appeals on 31 May. 

The plaintiffs were awarded ¥90 million ($880,000) as compensation due to violation of their privacy by the leak.

However, the presiding judges did not make a judgment on police profiling and surveillance tactics which a lower court had upheld as "necessary and inevitable" to guard against international terrorism.

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