Creating new perspectives since 2009

Germany investigating academics supporting pro-Palestine student protests

June 12, 2024 at 6:35 pm

Police are demanding students to leave the building as dozens of pro-Palestinian students are taking over several classrooms in a Bonn University building in Bonn, Germany, on 12 June, 2024 [Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images]

Germany’s Federal Education and Research Ministry has launched an investigation against academics backing students protesting Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

According to North German Broadcasting, the Ministry is investigating whether the financial support provided to academics should be cut off over their support for the student protesters.

More than 100 Germany-based academics had signed an open letter protesting the authorities’ response towards pro-Palestinian student protesters during a demonstration at the Free University of Berlin on 7 May.

The group accused the university administration of subjecting demonstrators to “police violence”.

An email sent to the faculty members said their support for the students was under question and asked them to provide a written defence on the matter.

While the Ministry has since released a statement admitting that the open letter falls within the academics’ freedom of expression rights, the outcome of the investigation remains uncertain.

The statement did not, however, mention whether the investigation on their funding would be terminated as a result.

German universities, including in Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Bremen, have been the scene of massive student protests against Israel’s deadly military offensive in Gaza over the past several months.

Demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli siege in Gaza have also spread across university campuses in the US and Europe.

READ: German court dismisses request to halt arms exports to Israel