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Police clear out pro-Palestinian students protesting in Geneva

Students being arrested
Pro-Palestinian students in Geneva are cuffed and taken away on Tuesday morning Keystone/Salvatore di Nolfi

The police intervened early on Tuesday morning to dislodge the pro-Palestinian students who had been occupying the University of Geneva for almost a week.

They evacuated the 50 or so protesters who had refused to leave, according to the Swiss News Agency Keystone-ATS.

Around 20 police officers in uniform and plainclothes entered the UniMail building at around 5am, said the news agency’s journalist on the scene. The officers carried out identity checks and evacuated the students.

The University of Geneva (UNIGE) upped the stakes on Monday after the failure of negotiations, announcing that it was filing a criminal complaint for trespass against the pro-Palestinian students.

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In a letter to the university community, the university’s rector Audrey Leuba called on the members of the Student Coordination for Palestine to respect the ultimatum given and to vacate the premises peacefully.


While the rectory said it understood “the support and solidarity shown by the collective towards the victims of the Gaza conflict”, it asked them to respect safety rules and legal limits.

The pro-Palestinian students are calling on the UNIGE to take a stand in favour of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and to end its collaboration with Israeli universities and research institutes.

Several incidents linked to the occupation have occurred in the past week. To avoid any escalation, the UNIGE decided on Saturday evening to restrict access to the UniMail building to members of the university community. Security guards screened the entrances.

Translated from French by DeepL/ts

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR