Oxford Union president resigns after blind black student dragged out of debate ‘by the ankles’

The Independent Lifestyle 2 weeks ago

The president of one of the most prestigious debating societies in the UK has resigned after a blind black student was reportedly “dragged by his ankles” out of a debate event in Oxford.

Ebenezer Azamati, a PhD student from Ghana, was removed from the Oxford Union event by a security guard when he tried to return to a seat before the debate began.

The incident, which was caught on video, prompted calls for Brendan McGrath, president of the Oxford Union, to resign over the “inhumane and shameful” treatment of the 25-year-old.

A petition calling for Mr McGrath to step down, launched by the Oxford University Africa Society (OUAS), has been signed by more than 45,000 people in just a few days.

Mr Azamati, an international relations student, arrived early to attend a debate last month to reserve a seat as he was worried there would be no special provisions for disabled students.

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When he returned for the debate after dinner, Mr Azamati was denied entry but he attempted to sit down on his reserved seat. Security officials then manhandled him out of the building.

Mr Azamati had said it left him feeling “unwelcome in the union, Oxford and even the country”.

A statement from Mr McGrath, posted on the Oxford Union Facebook site on Tuesday evening, said: “Fundamentally, it is the president’s job to ensure that every member feels welcome at the Oxford Union. This is a goal I have manifestly failed to reach.

“For all of my shortcomings, and all of my mistakes, I apologise profusely and unqualifiedly.”

He added: “I can only hope that my relative public silence is not interpreted as being uncaring, or taking the matter lightly.”

An appeal hearing on Saturday heard evidence from student Henry Hatwell, who said: “Thirty seconds after he [Mr Azamati] sat down, the security guard came in.

“Five seconds afterwards, he started touching Azamati, who was holding on to the bench. Thirty seconds later, they were dragging him by his ankles.”

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Read also:
The Sun › 3 weeks ago
A BLIND African student was allegedly dragged by his ankles and forcibly removed from a debate organised by the prestigious Oxford Union. Ebenezer Azamati, 25, a postgraduate from Ghana studying international relations, said the incident had left him...
Washington Examiner › Lifestyle › 2 weeks ago
The president of the Oxford Union, the university's debating society, has resigned amid a furor over a blind African student being dragged by his ankles out of an event by security staff and then having his membership suspended.
Telegraph › 2 weeks ago
Oxford students have moved to impeach their Union President over the treatment of a blind student who was dragged out of a debating chamber “by his ankles”.
Telegraph › 3 weeks ago
A blind student was dragged “by his ankles” out of an Oxford debating chamber after being refused entry, leading to calls for the union president to resign.
Telegraph › 2 weeks ago
The president of the Oxford Union announced his resignation this evening widespread criticism of the treatment of a blind student who was dragged out of a debating chamber "by his ankles".
CNN › 2 weeks ago
The president of the Oxford Union -- a well-known university debating society -- has resigned following the outcry over his handling of an incident involving a blind student being "dragged by his ankles" and then ejected from the debating chamber last...
Mirror Online › Lifestyle › 3 weeks ago
PHD student Ebenezer Azamati, 25, feels 'unwelcome in Britain and at the University' after being dragged from an Oxford Union debate by security officials and accused of aggressive behaviour
Washington Post › 2 weeks ago
A video of blind student Ebenezer Azamati being dragged from his seat sparked fury in Britain.
Metro › 3 weeks ago
Oxford Union has been forced to apologise after PHD student Ebenezer Azamati was manhandled out of a debating chamber by his feet.
Evening Standard › 2 weeks ago
The Oxford Union president has resigned after a blind student was forcibly removed from a debate event by a security guards.
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