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Student Ordered to Remove Palestinian Flag Alleges Free Speech Violation

A student at George Washington University who received a visit from university police and a formal warning letter for hanging a Palestinian flag outside his dorm room window says his free speech rights have been violated.

“I felt like I was being singled out, because of my heritage and the viewpoint of my speech, for something I’ve seen dozens of students, fraternities and other student groups do in my three years at GW,” Ramie Abounaja, a junior biomedical engineering major, wrote in an account publicized by his attorneys at the civil rights organization Palestine Legal. In that letter Abounaja, a first-generation American of Palestinian heritage, wrote that a GW police officer came to his room on Oct. 26, stated that police had received multiple complaints about the flag and instructed him to take it down. Abounaja said he immediately did so.