Let Othman study: free the LSE student trapped in Palestine

The campaign to free Othman Sakallah from Gaza so that he can study at LSE

Let Othman study – campaign statement October 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — letothmanstudy @ 4:25 pm

Please sign the following campaign statement by commenting on the Campaign Statement page (leave only your name and a short description of yourself; comment on the Messages of Support page with longer statements):

 

We, the undersigned, are concerned with the plight of Othman Sakallah, an Palestinian student who gained entry to postgraduate study at LSE in 2009.

Othman has been prevented from taking his place at LSE. He is trapped in Gaza due to a combination of the ongoing cruel and unjustifiable Israeli siege, preventing Palestinian freedom of movement outside the Gaza Strip, and the effects of the attacks undertaken by the Israeli military last winter, which have left Othman and his family homeless with little hope of him independently obtaining the financial assistance required to attend the LSE, or even the ability to leave Gaza.  

The LSE Students’ Union has voted to support Othman to take up his offer at the university.

We request that international pressure is brought to bear on the Israeli authorities to ensure that Othman is allowed to leave Gaza and take up his place at university. International pressure must also be brought to condemn the Israeli siege of Gaza and ensure that other Palestinians are not similarly denied their right to education.

We are further lobbying LSE to do everything it can to assist Othman, specifically to waive Othman’s tuition fees, provide him and his family with a living allowance, and facilitate his exit from Gaza. This includes urging the university to issue a statement condemning the siege and its impact on the ability of LSE students to pursue their right to education, and working with LSE to establish five new scholarships for Palestinians to support the right to education, and scholarships for students from other conflict zones.

Students, academics and other supporters of human rights and justice must stand up for the numerous students denied their right to education as well as their basic human rights in Palestine and across the world. We will campaign until Othman is free and will continue to campaign for the universal right to education.

 

LSE Students’ Union campaigns to free student trapped in Palestine

Filed under: Uncategorized — letothmanstudy @ 3:31 pm

LSE students have voted to campaign to free Othman Sakallah, a London School of Economics (LSE) student prevented from taking his place at the School by the siege of Gaza.

At the LSE Students’ Union General Meeting (UGM) on Thursday 8th October 2009, a packed lecture theatre of students voted for a motion titled ‘Let Othman study: free the LSE student trapped in Palestine’.

The motion read:

Let Othman study – free the LSE student trapped in Palestine

Union notes:

  1. Othman Sakallah, a Palestinian student, has gained entry to postgraduate study at LSE;
  2. In addition to the siege, the Israeli military demolished Othman’s home in the attacks earlier this year, leaving him living in a tent, like thousands of others, unable to rebuild his house because Israel denies Palestinians building materials;
  3. In the Israeli attacks 14,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed, 18 schools were completely destroyed and 280 damaged, and two of the main universities in Gaza, the Al-Aqsa and the Islamic universities, were severely damaged in bombings;
  4. Higher education is limited in Gaza due to the blockade on education resources and building materials which means that there has been little reconstruction since the Israeli bombings of Gazan Universities in December;
  5. Palestinian students who have gained places in universities abroad have previously been blocked from leaving the Occupied Territories by the siege, such as Khaled Al-Mudallal, recent Fulbright scholars and hundreds more.

Union believes:

  1. The right to education is universal;
  2. Othman has been forced to defer his entry because the Israeli siege of Gaza is preventing him from leaving the territory;
  3. All students who are accepted to study abroad should not be barred from taking up their place, especially not by the cruel and unjustifiable Israeli siege, or the crippling effects of war;
  4. International pressure has been brought to bear on Israel before to help Khaled Al-Mudallal and Fulbright scholars from Palestine;
  5. LSE and other supporters of human rights and justice must stand up for the right to education and human rights for people in Palestine and across the world regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and religion.

Union resolves:

  1. To launch an international campaign involving students, staff, alumni and others to ensure Othman Sakallah is allowed to take up his place at LSE;
  2. To lobby LSE to do everything it can to assist Othman, specifically to waive Othman’s tuition fees, provide him and his family with a living allowance and facilitate his exit from Gaza;
  3. To work with LSE to establish five new scholarships for Palestinian students and students from other conflict zones to ensure that future cases do not go unattended;
  4. To press Howard Davies and the school administration to issue a statement condemning the siege and its impact on the ability of LSE students to pursue their right to education.
 

 
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