(TAMPA, FL, 5/23/2006) – The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today welcomed the decision of a Florida Circuit Judge to release two Saudi students who have been in custody since Friday for riding a public school bus. The decision comes after federal and local authorities determined the students entered the country legally and were not deemed a security risk.
Last week, the Saudi students were charged with trespassing on school property when they mistakenly boarded a school bus. A day after their arrest, a judge revoked their $250 bail to give Immigration and Customs Enforcement time to check the backgrounds of the two men.
SEE: (SAUDI) FOREIGNERS CLEARED IN BUS SCARE
Since their arrest, CAIR-FL officials have advocated for the release of the two men, citing cultural differences and miscommunication as the reason for the incident. CAIR-FL, Tampa Director Ahmed Bedier and an accompanying attorney met with the students, who do not speak English, on Monday and found that they were unaware of the charges filed against them.
Outside the courthouse today Ahmed Bedier reacted to the judge’s decision. To view video news clips of today’s hearing, visit:
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier, CAIR-FL Tampa, Tel: 813-731-9506, E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org