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Charges dropped against 57 arrested amid pro-Palestinian student protests

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Houston, April 27 (IANS) All charges have been dropped against the 57 people who were arrested during a pro-Palestinian protest on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin, the Travis County attorney’s office confirmed.

Houston, April 27 (IANS) All charges have been dropped against the 57 people who were arrested during a pro-Palestinian protest on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin, the Travis County attorney’s office confirmed.

All charges were about criminal trespassing, and lacked probable cause, said the office on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

County Attorney Delia Garza, whose office handles misdemeanour cases, told the local media outlet Austin American-Statesman on Thursday that her office agreed with defence lawyers that there were “deficiencies” with the probable cause arrest affidavits, which are the documents filled out by law enforcement to justify an arrest.

The university said on Friday that people who were arrested on criminal trespassing charges during Wednesday’s protest would be barred from campus, per an existing university policy, according to a newspaper.

The Palestine Solidarity Committee, a registered student group and a chapter of the National Students for Justice in Palestine, organised the rally on Wednesday to call for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

When some people began setting up tents for an encampment, which the Palestine Solidarity Committee had said was its intention, police took the tents down almost immediately.

“UT Austin does not tolerate disruptions of campus activities or operations as we have seen at other campuses,” the UT Division of Student Affairs said in a statement before the protest.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on March 27 issued an executive order calling for universities to curb anti-semitism by revising their free speech policies.

From Texas to California, pro-Palestinian demonstrations are spreading on campuses across the United States as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza continues. Hundreds of the protestors have been arrested by police.

According to media reports, students from Yale University, New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, Brown University, the University of Southern California, and other universities also staged encampments in solidarity with their peers at Columbia University.

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