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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eleven Muslim students charged with conspiracy for disrupting speech by Israel ambassador...

US charges students with conspiracy
Tue Feb 8, 2011 12:24PM

Eleven Muslim students have been charged with conspiring to disrupt a speech given by the Israeli ambassador to the United States at the University of California last year.

The students called Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren a murderer, and continually disrupted his speech on US-Israeli relations at the University of California in Irvine in February 2010.

The Orange County district attorney's office charged the students with two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy one year after the event, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.

Attorney Tony Rackauckas said the case was filed because the disruption by the group had been preplanned.

He said it was an “organized attempt to squelch the speaker.”

The university administration also suspended the Muslim Student Union from the campus last year.

The Union at UC Irvine, however, denied planning to obstruct the ambassador's speech.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also dismissed the allegations, calling on the attorney to drop all charges against the students.

Munira Syeda, a member of the Council, told Press TV that pursuing these charges will disrupt free speech at the universities.

She also says the students have already gone through a significant administrative review process and have been punished by the university.

Several Jewish organizations, however, have come out in favor of the decision to file charges.

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