Melbourne University students disciplined for pro-Palestinian protest

Students claim the action is due to activism against the university's ties with arms manufacturers, not the protest.

Anadolu Agency July 11, 2024
Anadolu Agency

The disciplinary hearing for 21 students at Melbourne University, who previously received "general misconduct notices," for participating in a pro-Palestinian sit-in protest began Wednesday.

The university has disciplined 21 students who staged a sit-in protest on campus in May, with students facing possible suspension or expulsion.

The students' hearings began on Wednesday, with dozens of people, including students and academics, gathering to show their support for the accused students.

Speaking after the hearing, Dana Al-Shaer, one of the defendants, claimed the punishment was due to their activism against the university's ties with arms manufacturers, not the sit-in itself.

Holding a Palestinian flag in one hand, Shaer showed a piece of paper showing CCTV footage that the university used as evidence of her involvement in the sit-in.

The university's use of CCTV footage and WiFi data as evidence has prompted an investigation into possible privacy breaches.

The hearing took place amid Australia’s appointment of Jillian Segal, a person who had previously stressed the importance of universities taking disciplinary action against those found to have engaged in "antisemitic” acts, as the country's first antisemitism envoy on Tuesday.

The university's actions are part of a broader crackdown on pro-Palestinian student activism across Australia. The Australian National University has expelled two students for their activism, while Monash, La Trobe and Deakin universities have also issued misconduct notices to students.


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