The Oxford Union has been condemned after a blind postgraduate student, Ebenezer Azamati, was “dragged by his ankles” and kicked out of a debate in an outrageous manner.
As earlier reported 25-year-old, is a postgraduate student from Ghana studying international relations, was kicked out from a debate at the Oxford Union after he attempted to be there.
More details made available of the unfortunate event involving the Ghanaian student. It was explained that he had arrived early to attend the debate. In bid reserve a seat he kept a book on one near the entrance to the chamber and returned to his college for dinner.
On his arrival for the debate, he was denied entry, but when later accompanied by a friend, he gained entrance. Subsequently, security personnel’s arrived and “dragged him by his ankles” out of the debating chamber.
His union card was seized and he was barred from the union.
The unfortunate event was caught on camera, leading to an uproar amongst students, calling for the resignation of the union president, Brendan McGrath.
The incident was described by the Oxford University Africa Society (OUAS) as:
Violent, unjust, inhumane and shameful”, left Mr Azamati, feeling “unwelcome in the union, Oxford and even the country.
He stated that the incident has made him feel ‘distressed and unwelcome’ in Britain after the way he was treated. He claimed he wasn’t treated as a human being who deserves justice and fair treatment.
Oxford Union officially withdrew charges of violent misconduct against Azamati
Brendan McGrath, who had called a disciplinary committee meeting afterward, alleged that Azamati had behaved violently when he was being removed from the premises.
Azamati’s membership was suspended for two terms after the disciplinary hearing.
An appeal hearing was held on Saturday where evidence was rigorously taken into account and the union and McGrath formally withdrew the charge of “violent misconduct” against Mr. Azamati.
The Oxford Union in a statement released apologized “unreservedly” for any distress and damage caused during the unfortunate incident.
Oxford University, when contacted on its take on the issue, stated the University has no control over the Union. Although the unfortunate event transpired at the Oxford Union, it is an independent society body.
OUAS launched petition for Azamati requesting McGrath resignation
The Oxford University Africa Society (OUAS) had also come to Mr. Azamati’s defense launching a petition calling for the resignation of Brendan McGrath. The petition reportedly has close to 2,000 signatures presently.
The petition launched by the OUAS contains requests for:
- An “unreserved” apology to Azamati from both the union and the president
- The cancellation of Azamati’s ban and a reinstatement of his union membership
- “Adequate” punishment of “the security personnel who assaulted” Azamati
- Compensation for Azamati
Nwamaka Ogbonna, OUAS president, said;
We have yet to see a public apology from the union or from Brendan McGrath. There have been no details of how the union will be held to account, no details on compensation, and he [McGrath] is yet to resign.
The OUAS has noted it will continue pushing until justice prevails.