Hoppa till huvudinnehåll

Till: Uppsala University Vice-Chancellor Anders Hagfeldt

Call for Uppsala University to respond to the crisis in Palestine

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the University’s lack of response to the ongoing crisis in Palestine. One day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine (25th of February 2022), Uppsala University joined the condemnation of the invasion. In doing so, you wrote: ‘…it is important that we as a university take a clear stand in defense of democratic values and the freedom of academia and research.’ You were right to do so then, but where is your clear stance now?

The death toll has reached a reported 12,000 since Israel’s assault on Gaza began. At least 4,000 of these deaths are children. Nearly 1.6 million Palestinians are now internally displaced and face severe shortages of food, water, electricity, and essential medical supplies. The UN has criticized these acts as a form of collective punishment, with Secretary-General António Guterres highlighting clear violations of international law by Israel. As members of the Uppsala University community, we remind you that democratic values include respect for human rights and therefore call on you to clarify the University’s position on these ongoing atrocities in Gaza.

Furthermore, the freedom of academia and research is in danger. In Gaza, campuses have been targeted for bombardment, and academics are amongst the many dead and displaced. In Israel, more than a hundred Palestinian students from 25 different Israeli universities have been suspended, and academics defending them have been subject to immense pressure. According to Times Higher Education, at least three academics in Israel have been suspended for expressing sympathy with Gazans or criticizing Israel's actions in Gaza, with more receiving warnings or requests to step down​​. Globally, students and scholars face repercussions for statements of solidarity with Palestine. In Sweden, Chalmers University of Technology’s recent ban on political protest and materials reflects the chilling of academic freedom of expression. Meanwhile, Uppsala University has remained silent.

Where is the University’s stand for democratic values now, in the face of clear violations of humanitarian law? Where is your defense of academic freedom?

We expect the same moral clarity and leadership you showed previously in defense of fundamental democratic norms and academic freedoms. As such, we ask that you:

- Clarify the University’s position on Israel’s invasion and siege of Gaza.

- Detail the concrete steps Uppsala University will undertake to ensure freedom of expression while ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all, specifically addressing rising antisemitism and Islamophobia.

- Establish support for affected students at Uppsala University, and announce targeted measures of pastoral and financial support for affected Palestinian academics and students.

- Appoint coordination and expert groups in a similar structure to that the university formed regarding the war in Ukraine to ensure an appropriate, informed response.

- Publicly review all collaborations with Israeli research bodies and companies to ensure that the University is not complicit in breaching international law, directly or indirectly.

- Initiate a university-wide forum to discuss the application of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel until it complies with international law.

Varför är det viktigt?

On the 21st November, Uppsala Academics for Palestine sent the letter above to the Vice Chancellor of Uppsala University. We asked for a clear response to Israel’s assault on Palestine in line with the University’s position on other recent international crises. We have yet to receive a reply, but will insist on dialogue until this issue is satisfactorily addressed. Please add your voice by signing in support of the letter to tell the Vice Chancellor that you stand for human rights and freedom of expression, and you think that Uppsala University should uphold these values too.
Uppsala, Sverige

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2024-05-25 18:33:11 +0200

50 underskrifter nådda

2024-05-14 14:55:20 +0200

25 underskrifter nådda

2024-01-08 16:37:56 +0100

10 underskrifter nådda