Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights University of Ottawa (SPHR) is a student run, non-profit organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.

November 5, 2009

Right to Education campaign @ uOttawa

Student Federation at the University of Ottawa adopts Palestinian Right to Education campaign

Ottawa, November 2, 2009 – In a victory for justice, University of Ottawa students successfully passed a motion affiliating their student federation to the Right to Education Campaign, a Palestinian student initiative to counter the effects of occupation on their education. Despite some opposition from Zionist and Conservative voices, the motion was successfully passed by a vote of 74 to 52.

Parts of the motion cited education as a “fundamental human right” and that the “[Israeli] occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the ongoing closures, military roadblocks, and the construction of an illegal wall prevent thousands of students and teachers from reaching their universities and schools”. The campaign commits the SFUO to support the call for international action against violations against the basic right to education in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to build connections to Palestinian Universities through initiatives such as exchanges. The SFUO campaigns committee is bound to the campaign for at least a year, when the campaign can then be reconsidered.

Mahmoud Hmouz, member of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights which put the motion forward, stated that “this victory proves that the tide is turning in Canadian Universities. Students in Canada know about the violations their peers in Palestine face and are no longer willing to stand idly by.” Robert Prazeres, also a member of SPHR points out that “we in Canada are not as far removed from the struggles of Palestinian students as we may think we are. Our universities support the ongoing injustices through links to the Israeli Academy while they ignore the plight of the Palestinian Academy and Palestinian Students. This is our response to that discrepancy.”

For more information, or to view the entire motion, contact:

Mahmoud Hmouz (English) at 613-335-4225, email
Robert Prazeres (English or French) at 613-447-4931, email

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