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Court: Detroit suburb violated evangelist's rights


A federal court says it was illegal to bar a Christian evangelist from passing leaflets inside an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn last year.

The appeals court ruled 2-1 Thursday in the case of George Saieg of Anaheim, Calif. The decision comes less than a month before this year's festival.

The court says Dearborn's restriction on where Saieg could pass leaflets was not reasonable and violated his First Amendment rights.

The festival had offered Saieg a free booth, but he prefers to roam Warren Avenue sidewalks because he believes some Muslims may be afraid to approach him.

A message seeking comment was left with a Dearborn spokeswoman.

Saieg's attorney says he and his followers plan to attend the next festival on June 17.

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