IP - More than 2,000 academics have signed a letter demanding the resignation of Germany’s education minister over her attempt to sanction scholars who supported pro-Palestinian students’ right to protest.

Iran PressEurope: Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger has come under growing criticism after media reports revealed that her ministry initiated a legal review last month to examine the open letter released by these scholars and the possibility of dropping funding for their studies.

“Academics in Germany are experiencing an unprecedented attack on their fundamental rights, on the 75th anniversary of the Basic Law,” the scholars said in a statement on Friday and underlined that recent actions taken by the ministry make Stark-Watzinger’s position as minister untenable.

“The withdrawal of funding ad personam based on political statements made by researchers is contrary to the Basic Law: teaching and research are free. The internal order to examine such political sanctions is a sign of constitutional ignorance and political abuse of power,” the scholars said.

“It illustrates an increasing rift between decision-makers in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and those who support the academic system through their research and teaching. Through its intimidating effect alone, the Minister's actions risk permanently damaging the hard-won right of academic freedom against political and state interference,” they added.

On May 8, more than 300 academics from Berlin universities expressed their support for pro-Palestine protest camps on the campus of the Free University of Berlin and defended the students’ right to demonstrate.

At least 37,266 Palestinians have been killed and 85,102 wounded in Israel’s war on Gaza since October 7.


Read more:

Berlin: Protesters Urge Cessation of Israeli Genocide Against Palestinians