ICBU Calls for Withdrawing the Sorbonne University Branch from Abu Dhabi due to UAE Discrimination

Oct 01 2018
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ICBU Calls for Withdrawing the Sorbonne University Branch from Abu Dhabi due to UAE Discrimination

The International Campaign to Boycott UAE (ICBU) has sent an official letter to the administration of the French Sorbonne University in France, calling on it to close its branch in Abu Dhabi or withdraw its accreditation because of the racist laws imposed by the UAE authorities and its interference in the internal affairs of the university.

The unfairness of foreign workers and racism, the violation of women’s rights and the restriction of freedom of opinion and the imposition of personnel without scientific qualifications by force on the administration of the university and the imprisonment and detention and torture of academics working in the university because of their political views or because of their refusal to grant high grades to some students from the ruling family in Abu Dhabi.

ICBU said in its letter that Dr. Lila Lamrani was denied admission to the faculty of the Sorbonne University of Abu Dhabi after receiving the post of head of the department of philosophy and sociology at the university because of the intervention of the authorities in the UAE racially in the recruitment process, knowing that Dr. Lila has passed at all stages of employment and got a job offer and signed a contract binding with the university administration and readiness to move with her family to Abu Dhabi. In the same context, the UAE’s authorities arrested Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, a former professor at the Sorbonne branch in Abu Dhabi, where Dr. Ben Ghaith was arrested by security forces in the United Arab Emirates on 18 August 2015 and unfairly sentenced by the Federal Court of Appeal to 10 years in prison. March 29, 2017 because of the tweets he published on his personal account in which he criticized the violations of the Egyptian regime for human rights.

The UAE authorities found that the tweets might disrupt the good relations with the Egyptian state via the Internet and to provoke sedition, hatred, racism and sectarianism and damage to national unity and peace Social. In response to this unfair trial, Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith announced his entry into a hunger strike on April 2, 2017, to a public opinion statement from Al-Rizin Prison confirming his innocence and that his trial was not a fair trial. In response to his demands, the administration of the Al-Rizin Prison tightened the pressure on Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, as he was pressured and prevented from visiting, communicating and finding his place of detention for more than six months. On February 25, 2018, Dr. Ben Ghaith announced that he would go on hunger strike again in response to his refusal to ill-treatment in Al-Rizin prison. Since that decision, the prison authorities have forbidden visits and all contacts between him and his family. The last visit was on March 7, 2018, and he was exhausted and deteriorated due to high blood pressure.

The campaign stressed that the silence of the Sorbonne in France about the violations committed by the UAE authorities against the employees of the university and its rules of procedure and academic freedom and the practice of racism against them is a direct participation in all these violations and encourages authorities in Abu Dhabi to proceed with these violations and ICBU considered withdrawing the university branch there as a victory for human rights and freedoms in the world and as an enforcement to the implementation the highest standards of transparency and integrity.

ICBU said it was launched in the light of the endless violations of human rights practiced by the UAE, as well as its war crimes in Yemen and violations of workers’ rights, as well as the fact that the UAE is the centre of modern slavery. The United Arab Emirates today is one of the leading countries in trafficking in human beings and is one of the main supporters of terrorist groups in Syria and other parts of the Middle East.