Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Soas Directors feeble an outrageous response to: Aid flotilla to Gaza - latest on SOAS student

Dear students


You will be aware of the events that unfolded over the weekend where a flotilla of aid ships to Gaza was boarded by Israeli soldiers resulting in the loss of 10 lives.


We have learned that a SOAS PhD student, Anne de Jong (Anthropology and Sociology), was on one of the boats.  Anne, who is a Dutch national, has stated on her Twitter feed that she has been detained by the Israeli authorities.    Her family has spoken with the Dutch media and have confirmed that she is safe and well and anticipate that she will be deported.  The safety and well-being of Anne is of great importance to SOAS and we are making further enquiries via the Dutch Embassy.


The events in Israel have once again turned the international spotlight on the Middle East, a region where SOAS has strong academic links.  As a home of political debate, I hope that SOAS can act as a place where people can come together freely to discuss these events, and contribute to finding a resolution, in a respectful and open manner. It is very important that as an academic institution that we do not appear to take sides as this would prejudice the very objective of a fair and open debate.


We will be following events as they develop today and we will keep the School informed about the situation. 



Paul Webley

Director & Principal

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