On Wednesday (14 November), The Guardian reported on warnings from staff and students, including Birmingham UCU, about a lack of protection for LGBT rights at the new University of Birmingham Dubai. campus, where being gay or transgender risks imprisonment, flogging and execution.
James Brackley, president of Birmingham UCU is quoted as saying: “The university are now firefighting issues they clearly had not anticipated. We are especially concerned at the lack of assurances over the safeguarding of LGBTQ staff and students. They have not been clear at all about repatriation. Their policy is flawed. Once you’re detained you’re entirely at the mercy of the Dubai authorities.”
Preet Kaur Gill, the MP for Edgbaston and Shadow Minister for International Development, who only last week wrote to the vice-chancellor, David Eastwood, over serious concerns about the treatment of constructions who will build the new Dubai campus, is quoted as saying: “Staff and students from the LGBT community are right to be concerned over the watering down of their LGBT rights, and the guidance from the university does little to assuage their worries.”
Reece Roberts, president of the Guild of Students, calls for the university to fund one of its officers to support the Dubai students on the new campus and for the university to be proactive rather than waiting until a student was jailed to make a clear policy.
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