Intercept - George Washington University police ordered a student to remove a Palestinian flag from his dorm window, with administrators claiming the flag violated their housing code. But a visit to the university confirmed countless other national flags hang from dorm rooms there.
The student, 20-year-old pre-med Ramie Abounaja, was threatened by university administrators with future disciplinary action even though he complied with the police order. Civil rights organizations have characterized the flag-removal order as a violation of free speech principles, underscoring the growing attempt to outlaw and punish pro-Palestinian speech on the nation’s campuses.
Abounaja’s ordeal began on October 26, when a university police officer entered his dorm room at GW in Washington, D.C. According to Abounaja, the officer said the department had received “multiple complaints” about a Palestinian flag hanging from his window, and that he would not leave until the flag was removed. Abounaja quickly complied without incident.
A week later, Abounaja received a letter from GW’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which oversees disciplinary issues. “This letter serves as a warning that this behavior is a violation of the ‘Code of Student Conduct’ and/or the Resident Community Conduct Guidelines,” it stated.