Caroline Lowman from Nottingham University’s Impact reports how Dr Rod Thornton has left his job due to his controversial article criticising the University over their handling of the arrests of a student and staff member in May 2008:
Dr Rod Thornton has chosen to leave his position in the School of Politics and International Relations following a “mutual agreement” with the University. The lecturer was the source of controversy after he published an article criticising the University’s handling of the arrests of two students in May 2008.
Masters student, Rizwaan Sabir, and staff member Hicham Yezza were arrested after Sabir downloaded and sent to Yezza ‘The Al Qaeda Training Manual’ for academic research purposes. Both men were held for 6 days before being released without charge.
Dr Thornton’s article argued that “untruth [was] piled on untruth until a point was reached where the Home Office itself farcically came to advertise the case as ‘a major Islamist plot’”. He was later suspended from his position at the University. In a statement, the University claimed that the article contained “baseless accusations” about members of staff.
In response to the suspension, a group of supporters formed ‘Support the Whistleblowers at Nottingham’ (SWAN) who notoriously published 200 items on the website Unileaks in what they believed to be evidence of Dr Thornton’s claims, as well as photographs seeming to show student protestors being secretly filmed by security at the University.
The situation attracted even more support after an open letter was sent to The Guardian, signed by over 60 academics from all over the world – including Noam Chomsky – expressing their concern over the treatment of a peer. They called for an “immediate reinstatement” as well as a “full and proper inquiry” into the claims of his paper.
Full story here.