Organisation calls on university management to ensure institution remains safe environment
Statement: R2K strongly condemns police brutality employed against UKZN students
The Right2Know Campaign strongly condemns the brutal manner in which police have dealt with protesting students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. We are also deeply concerned by the manner in which the institution and the police handled a case of alleged sexual assault of a female student by a police officer which was reported on Monday. We call on the university management to ensure that the institution remains a safe environment for all students and staff regardless of the current volatile situation.
Although we do not condone violent protests, it is imperative that the Institution respects the right to protest and urgently address the students’ grievances in a more dignified manner to end this conflict.
Further, we call on SAPS to take immediate action against the police officer who is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting the female student. We cannot afford to have an alleged rapist roaming around the streets pretending to be our protector.
We also call for a swift action against the officers who were involved in shooting the protesting students at that institution. We understand that students were shot at with rubber bullets, but these are just as harmful as live ammunition. A student sustained severe injuries from being shot with rubber bullets.
Incidents of police brutality are escalating across the country. Protesters are being criminalised, shot at with stun grenades and rubber bullets and we cannot afford to remain silent as more protesters with legitimate grievances are at risk of severe injury and even losing their lives at the hands of the police.
The right to organise, protest and speak out is central to all community struggles for social justice. Instead of cracking down on dissent, the university management should focus on addressing the problems that have forced this protest action. R2K calls on the UKZN management to withdraw all the charges against incarcerated students and to suspend the security firm, MI7, because it’s a wasteful expenditure of money that could support struggling students. We also condemn the provocation and antagonism of the students by the hired private security.
We have the Right2Protest!
Statement issued by Right2Know, 7 September 2016
Published at Mon, 14 Dec 2020 03:08:00 +0000