Oxford Union pays thousands to blind student who was dragged from debate by his ankles

Ebenezer Azamati said he felt he was treated as ‘not human enough to deserve justice’

A blind student who was dragged from a debate by his ankles has been paid thousands of pounds by the Oxford Union.

Ebenezer Azamati, a 27-year-old Ghanaian postgrad at the university, was removed from an event at the debating society after trying to reserve a seat with a book.

The Union paid Azamati the out-of-court settlement following a claim for race and disability discrimination and alleged assault.

The debating society also gave an apology to Azamati – who intends to finish his postgrad at the uni – and will set up an independent inquiry.

In October, Azamati tried to reserve a seat at an Oxford Union debate by placing a book on the chair, near the entrance. A security guard came over, and within 30 seconds was dragging Azamati by his ankles, said a witness.

The society’s president resigned after the debacle, in which Azamati’s union membership was suspended and the society attempted to charge him with violent misconduct, alleging Azamati used “aggressive hand gestures”.

He said he felt he was treated as “not human enough to deserve justice”, and his defence in a disciplinary case said “a white blind man would not have been treated in the way he was.”

The move sparked protests, which led to the charges being dropped and Azamati’s suspension eventually being lifted.

“When it happened I felt powerless. I had no means of fighting the union,” he told The Sunday Times.

“I am a poor boy on a scholarship. But I gathered the courage to do so because I felt if I did not say anything no action would be taken. Regardless of how difficult or tedious it was going to be, it was necessary.”

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