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Swiss police clear pro-Palestinian students protesting in Bern

Swiss police remove protestors from University of Bern.
Since Sunday evening, dozens of activists had been occupying university buildings in Bern; they left peacefully early on Wednesday morning. Keystone/© Keystone/ Peter Klaunzer

Police moved in early on Wednesday to remove some 30 pro-Palestinian student protestors from a Bern university building. The students left peacefully, according to news reports.

Following a request by the police, the 30 protestors left the site at around 5am on Wednesday, chanting pro-Palestinian slogans outside the buildings, according to news reports.

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Since Sunday evening, dozens of activists had been occupying several university premises in the Swiss capital, including the university canteen. They had called for an “academic boycott of Israeli institutions”, which was rejected by the University of Bern rectorate. The university had given them an ultimatum to leave the premises, which they had ignored.

+ University students in Switzerland join Gaza protest wave

In a statement on Monday, the rectorate described the situation as unacceptable, adding that it would not tolerate any intimidation of members of the university.

+ Police clear out pro-Palestinian students protesting in Geneva

Student demonstrations have gathered pace across western Europe in recent weeks with protestors demanding an end to the bloody war in Gaza, taking their cue from protests that have swept US campuses.

There have been similar protests in other Swiss universities, including Lausanne, Fribourg, Basel and Zurich.

Adapted from French by DeepL/sb

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