The Oxford University Africa Society (AfriSoc) strongly condemns the violent, unjust, inhumane and shameful treatment of their member, Mr Ebenezer Azamati, a Ghanaian MPhil student in International Relations at St John’s College at the Unions Chambers by a Union staff on the evening of 17th October, 2019. No individual deserves to be treated in that manner.
AfriSoc’s attension was first drawn to this incident by an article in the Oxford Student by various pained accounts from witnesses and Mr Axamati himself. Their understanding is that Mr Azamati who’s visually impaired was forcibly and violently prevented from re-entering the Union to resume his seat and subsequently forced to leave the debate Chamber after simply exiting and re-entering when the program has not even began.
Even if he had re-entered when the debate had started, such poor treatment through voilent means remains unjustiable. Assuming that rules for re-entry prevent anyone from stepping into the chamber at a stipulated time before sessions begin, it is only out of courtesy, out of consideration to a fellow Union member beyond these, out of a needed awareness of the physical needs of Mr Azamati that he should have been treated far more courteously and with dignity.
He should have been helped to resume his seat at the Chamber. Should the debate have began already, the Union ought to have a well thought out procedure where physically impaired individuals may need to exit and resume their place within the chamber.