Charges dropped: All Defend Education students have now been reinstated

The University has reinstated the final two student protestors after a two month suspension

The cases against three Defend Education students have been dropped on all accounts, following an investigation into their involvement in the  National Demonstration on the 29th January.

On Tuesday 25th March the Crown Prosecution Service announced that the charges against the three students had been dropped.

Several arrests and the suspension of five UoB students took place following the protests.

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Although 3 of the 5 suspensions were lifted on February 21st, two of the suspended students have had to wait eight weeks for their reinstatement.

Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers are now permitted to return to their studies, after being banned from entering Campus.

Investigations on ten other arrested students also came to a close, as there was no convicting evidence of damage or assault.

The closure of the investigation and the final reinstatements came shortly after a petition containing the signatures of 230 Academic Staff was delivered to the Vice Chancellor’s legal representative.

Hattie Craig (VP Education) and Dr David Bailey (UCU President) with the letter of Petition outside the office of David Eastwood.

The last few weeks have also witnessed several high-profile rallies by Defend Education, in which they demanded that all suspensions were lifted immediately.

The pressure upon the University was also intensified when 17 MPs signed an Early Day Motion, in which they criticised UoB’s actions as “extremely repressive measures.”

Despite their reinstatement, the arrested students stated their anger at their treatment, in which they were subject to 30-40 hours in police cells, strip searches and tightly enforced bail conditions.

According to the students in question, their bail conditions had been “extraordinarily harsh,” and all the arrests were made under “unlawful circumstances.”

In a statement the University said:

“The University of Birmingham continues to uphold the principle of free speech and supports the rights of students and staff to protest peacefully and within the law, indeed there have been many protests on campus that have passed off peacefully and without incident.

“However, when violence is perpetuated on campus… the university will continue to take robust action to uphold its responsibility and duty of care to its community.”

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