Who is Aamer Anwar, the human rights lawyer running for Glasgow Rector?

As a former Glasgow Uni student, he had ‘regular sessions at Subclub’


The defining moment of Aamer Anwar’s life came while campaigning against the introduction of university tuition fees, as a student at the University of Glasgow. Flyposting in Ashton Lane for an upcoming march against the fees, he ran when the police arrived and chased him.

What followed was a racially-motivated attack on Aamer, in which three of his teeth were smashed out of his face. So began a lifetime of advocacy and campaigning against discrimination and injustice.

Beginning a sociology degree in 1990, Aamer had involved himself in student politics from the outset. He was instrumental in uncovering systemic racism in the Dental School, and after organising a mass student sit in the Vice-Principal’s office, was successful in his campaign to introduce anonymous marking across the university examinations.

Four years later, he became the first person to win civil action against Strathclyde Police Force for a racially-motivated attack.

As Scottish Organiser of the Anti-Nazi League, Aamer travelled down to Eaglesham with some friends to destroy a statue of Rudolph Hess, a senior Nazi in Hitler’s regime, that had been erected by a European Nazi organisation. Following this, Aamer was approached by the police and informed that he had been placed on a Nazi hit list. He was forced to move flat and change his name, before arrests were made a year later.

Despite all of this, he still managed regular sessions at Glasgow’s famous Subclub.

Voted on more than one occasion as one of Scotland’s Most Eligible Bachelors, Aamer has continued to advocate against discrimination throughout his decorated professional career – one that has spanned three decades.

Taking on the case of Surjit Chokar in his final year of Law at university, Aamer represented the Chokar family for 18 years in their campaign for justice for their murdered son. In 2016, one of his murderers was put away.

Aamer is a strong supporter of the TIE campaign and has consistently campaigned with them for the introduction of LGBTI inclusive education in schools, and has strongly campaigned for the closure of the Dungavel Detention Centre.

Aamer has pledged to improve access to mental health services on campus, push Glasgow City Council for rent controls in the West End, and work to protect the status of EU students and staff.

Commenting, Aamer said: “My record in campaigning against discrimination speaks for itself and I hope it will persuade Glasgow students that I am the best rector candidate to fight for their interests.

“The university needs a working rector, one that be a strong voice on the issues that students here face; poor mental health services, year on year increases in rents and instability over the future status of EU students.”