WASHINGTON, D.C.- Federal authorities have dropped charges against AMP (American Muslims for Palestine) staffers Taher Herzallah and Kareem El-Hosseiny.
The two men, both employees for the group, faced charges for disrupting David Freidman’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, vocalizing opposition to the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Filing a “noelle prosequi,” or a formal notice of abandonment, the charges have been dropped as of Friday evening and the case has since been closed.
“We are overjoyed,” Herzallah said. “We showed the federal government we were not going to take their biased charges silently. This really shows the power of the people to speak truth to power.”
The two staffers were arrested February along with other members from advocacy groups If Not Now and Code Pink for their protest against Freidman.
However, the two men, being the only Arabs and Muslims in the group, were the sole members faced with criminal charges by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The other protesters were let off with a small fine that day, with one charge deferred to a traffic court.
The men rejected a plea deal, opting instead for a trial to fight the selective and targeted charges levied against them they perceived to be indicative of strong racial and ethnic bias.
“This proves that all the public, organizational and faith based support sent a strong message to the federal prosecutors,” said El-Hosseiny.
AMP thanked allies and partners for their help and support in fighting the targeted charges.
“AMP thanks NLG attorney Ann Wilcox for her expertise, professionalism, and willingness to fight for justice and to see this through to the end,” said AMP national policy director Dr. Osama Abuirshaid.