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UK: peaceful student protests on Gaza must be respected

Commenting on the emergence of growing numbers of pro-Palestine solidarity protests at universities across the UK, Tom Southerden, Amnesty International UK’s Law and Human Rights Director, said:

“The right to peaceful protest is fundamental to our democracy and it’s vital that UK universities and the police respect and protect peaceful student protests on Gaza.

“Peaceful student-led protests are an important part of the movement across the globe against Israel’s war crimes, apartheid and possible genocide in Gaza.

“The authorities in the UK must avoid the dangerous clampdown we’ve witnessed at university campuses across the US.”

New wave of protests 

In the past week, students at several UK universities have set up protest encampments to express their solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. These have come after mass encampments at Columbia University in New York and other universities in the United States, where, in some cases, police and other law-enforcement agencies appear to have used excessive force in breaking up protests and making large numbers of arrests, both of students and members of staff. Amnesty has criticised the response of the authorities at several US universities as “obstructive and repressive”. 

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