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Written by Student Rights on 6 April 2011 at 10am

The LSE Must Revoke Saif Gaddafi’s PhD

pg-6-gassafi-son-ep_567824sby James Gourlay The recent debacle of the links between the LSE and the Gaddafi regime has left an indelible mark on the reputation of this institution. While a coalition of the willing embark on a mission of the highest moral order to defend the Libyan people, the LSE shows an unwillingness to be moral as it has, so far, allowed the despot Saif Gaddafi to hold on to his PhD.

The fact is by allowing Saif Gaddafi to keep this prestigious academic award it is in effect endorsing him and his actions, He is clearly an individual who is set on crushing the Libyan people’s rebellion and yet the LSE has not distance itself enough from him. On top of the fact that Saif Gaddafi has shown his true colours as a murderous tyrant as opposed to the man who believed in “reform, democracy and the rule of law” as Professor David Held has stated, his award of the PhD has been shrouded in a dark cloud of controversy.

Gaddafi is accused of having his thesis ‘ghostwritten’ by a Libyan academic and who was allegedly as a reward given an ambassadorial position, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the British ambassador to the US since 2007 is also alleged to have assisted Gaddafi

As if these two cases are not enough endless accusations of plagiarism have been leveled at Gaddafi’s thesis. A third and final flog of the dying beast is the donation of £1.5 million by the Gaddafi Foundation to the LSE only a year after he had received his doctorate.

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This is an issue that the LSE is trying to rectify but cannot unless they revoke the PhD they have awarded him. Without such action their endorsement of him as an individual will still stand and they will have failed to renounce fully their links with the Gaddafi regime and it’s ‘blood money’ which almost certainly acted as an incentive to award him a qualification that he may not deserve.