Written by Student Rights on 28 May 2014 at 5am

'Real Student Rights' and prisoner solidarity

A further blow to the credibility of ‘Real Student Rights’ (RSR) has been uncovered after it was revealed that co-founder Hilary Aked recently spoke at an event calling for solidarity with prisoners awaiting trial on terrorism charges including Moazzam Begg and Talha Ahsan

Aked was a speaker on 25th May at a ‘Stop the War Coalition’ event on prison and creative work, and was described as discussing an alleged “campus McCarthyite attempt to stigmatise Prisoner solidarity“.

She shared the platform with CagePrisoners media spokesperson Cerie Bullivant, a former control order subject who caused controversy in November 2013 when he wrote that Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed “should keep on running” after absconding from a TPIM prior to his trial.

CagePrisoners support for extremists including Anwar Al-Awlaki has been extensively detailed, and should raise questions about the motives of any group that chooses to ally itself with the organisation.

Meanwhile the group’s director Asim Qureshi has been accused of supporting violent activity, stating at a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally in 2006:

...when we see the examples of our brothers and sisters, fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, then we know where the example lies...

We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West”.

In addition to this, RSR history of outreach to extremists including Hamza Tzortzis, Yvonne Ridley and Begg has already been highlighted, as has the fact that Aked is a member of Spinwatch, funded by Middle East Monitor (MEMO).  

Described by the Daily Telegraph as “a Hamas friendly publisher of anti-Semites”, MEMO has published articles describing Israelis as “pathological liars from Eastern Europe, who lie as much as they breathe oxygen”.

It also employs individuals including  Daud Abdullah, criticised by the British government in 2009 for signing the pro-Hamas Istanbul Declaration, and Ibrahim Hewitt, cancelled by Oxfam after his views on the “so-called Holocaust” and homosexuality were revealed.

When this evidence of RSR’s links to extremists are combined with ‘solidarity’ for Begg and Ahsan, it quickly becomes apparent that the group does not have the interests of students at heart, and is instead involved in a nakedly political campaign.