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Groups expelled from conference

April 24, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

The United Nations expelled three groups from its conference on global racism in Geneva for unacceptable behavior related to a speech in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced Israel.

The groups whose passes were withdrawn are the French Union of Jewish Students; Coexist, a related French-based organization that fights racism and anti-Semitism; and the Tehran-based Neda Institute for Political and Scientific Research, said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights.

He told reporters that members of the first group disrupted Monday's speech.

He did not elaborate, but during the speech two rainbow-wigged protesters threw clown noses at Ahmadinejad while others shouted, "You are a racist!" and "Shame! Shame!" Later about 100 people tried to block his entrance to a news conference.

The Neda Institute distributed inflammatory material, Colville said.

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