Ohio Attorney General Faces Backlash Over Handling of OSU Protest

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost is facing widespread criticism following his decision to invoke a decades-old law against 41 Ohio State University (OSU) students and faculty who were arrested during a recent protest. The demonstrators were calling for their university to divest from Israel and address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Yost’s actions have ignited a firestorm of controversy, with many denouncing it as an assault on free speech. The protesters now confront potential fourth-degree felony charges under a seldom-used 1953 law, prompting fears of stifling dissent.

The situation has further deteriorated with allegations of mistreatment emerging from those arrested. Reports indicate prolonged periods without restroom access, strip searches of female detainees, and the compelled removal of hijabs from Muslim women for mugshots. Additionally, complaints include denied prayer rights and inadequate provision of halal food for Muslim prisoners.

Critics argue that Yost’s actions contradict his campaign pledges to uphold religious freedom. The decision to apprehend protesters while they were engaged in prayer, along with the violation of the religious rights of Muslim students, has elicited strong condemnation.

As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Yost now faces scrutiny regarding the conduct of the State Highway Patrol during the arrests. Concerns have been raised about the lack of sensitivity to ethnic and religious diversity, prompting questions about training and adherence to human rights standards.

Calls for Yost to reassess his approach and drop charges against the protesters have grown louder. Advocates stress the imperative of safeguarding freedom of expression and religious practices, urging collaborative efforts with affected communities to foster a more inclusive and equitable Ohio.

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