11 Jun, 2024 @ 12:55
2 mins read

Watch: Dramatic scenes in Spain’s Sevilla University as riot police forcibly remove students protesting against Israel’s war in Gaza

Riot police struggle with protestors in Sevilla University
Credit: X (US por Palestina)

STUDENTS at Spain’s Sevilla University have denounced being physically assaulted by riot officers from the Policia Nacional, as they broke up a pro-Palestine protest in one of the institution’s deaneries in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

Dramatic footage recorded of the incident shows officers in full riot gear trying to gain entry to the area through a door, while the protestors do their best to stop them from coming in. 

Using a nightstick, one of the officers sends the cellphone recording the scene crashing to the ground. 

In another clip, a riot officer is seen struggling with one of the student protestors on the floor, while a voice off camera is heard shouting: “He has been cut! He has been cut!”

In the video, blood can be seen on the arm of the protestor struggling with the police. 

Read more: Israel threatens Spain with closure of its embassy in Jerusalem: Tel Aviv warns Madrid it must have zero contact with the Palestinian Authority

The students had locked themselves into one of the deaneries at the Andalusian university on Monday afternoon, to demand that the dean of the institution ‘break his silence and listen to the voice of the student body that is not willing to consent to the complicity of the university with genocide’, in comments reported by Spanish daily El Diario

The police also dismantled a protest camp that had been set up in another part of the university a month ago to protest against Israel’s attacks in the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas atrocities of October 7, 2023. 

An injured student is treated by a riot officer
An injured student is treated by a riot officer. Credit: X (US por Palestina)

The dean of the university, Miguel Angel Castro Arroyo, defended the actions of the police and expressed his gratitude to them, saying that they had intervened on his request. 

The activists, he claimed, ‘have been upping their hostility and aggressiveness in the last few days, increasing the indignation of our community and the difficulties for the development of academic activities at this moment of the academic year, which are of singular importance and transcendence for our student body’.

The protestors, meanwhile, released a statement claiming that ‘the rector would rather students bleed and assault them than break off relations with Israel’.

They called a demonstration for 12pm today, Tuesday, to protest against what they called ‘police repression’ against a ‘non-violent’ demonstration.

Politicians from leftist parties also slammed the actions of the dean, as well as demanding explanations from Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, under whom the Policia Nacional operates. 

“We cannot allow the response to the peaceful mobilisation of our young people to be violent beatings,” said Alejandra Durán, a politician for the Por Andalucia party.

Last month a series of protests sprung up in Spanish universities against Israel’s attacks in Gaza, in cities such as Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona.

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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