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Monday, 18 November 2019

Outrage as blind African student, 25, is dragged ‘by his ankles’ out of Oxford Union debating chamber

One of the UK's most prestigious debating societies has been slammed after a blind postgraduate student was 'dragged by his ankles' and thrown out of a debate in a 'disgraceful' incident. 
Ebenezer Azamati was expelled from a debate at the Oxford Union after he attempted to attend a talk on the motion 'This House has no confidence in HM Government'.
The 25-year-old arrived early at the Oxford Union on October 17 to reserve a seat as he was worried there were no special provisions for disabled students.
He placed a book on an accessible seat near the entrance to the chamber to reserve it and went back to his college for dinner.

Officials manhandle distressed blind student at Oxford Union debate
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Ebenezer Azamati (pictured above) has tried to reserve a seat at the debate as he was worried there were no provision in place for disabled students
Ebenezer Azamati (pictured above) has tried to reserve a seat at the debate as he was worried there were no provision in place for disabled students 
Video footage shows Mr Azamati being removed
Video footage shows Mr Azamati being removed
Video footage shows Mr Azamati being removed from the debating chamber (left and right) he was visibly distressed  
When he returned later, accompanied by a friend and sat down, officials refused his attendance and were seen manhandling him out of his seat.
Mr Azamati, who is a postgraduate from Ghana studying international relations, became distressed at the situation.
Video footage from the event shows the student's white cane to be visible, while an official pulls him out of his seat.
Mr Azamati has since said he feels 'unwelcome' in Britain following the incident.
This is while campaign groups such as the Oxford University Africa society, have protested on his behalf. 
Now, the union president, Brendan McGrath, is facing calls to resign while other senior university staff claimed the behaviour of the Oxford Union was hindering the institutions chances of attracting more ethnic minority and working class students.
The Oxford Union has previously been home to alumni such as Boris Johnson and David Cameron, and has traditionally been a place where students go to hone their debating skills.
Following the incident last month, Mr McGrath called a disciplinary committee, where it was alleged that Azamati had behaved aggressively and thrusted his arms out as he was being ejected from his seat.
Mr Azamati's membership was suspended for two terms and he told The Times that he wasn't treated as a human'.
Official putting his hand on Mr Azamati
Mr Azamati being removed
Officials were seen talking to Mr Azamati and touching his arm (left) before they removed his (right from the debating chamber
'In being publicly removed from the Oxford Union Society made me feel unwelcome in the Union, Oxford and even the country. I felt that I was treated as not being human enough to deserve justice and fair treatment.'
At the appeal yesterday it was alleged that Mr Azamati 'acted in alarm as a blind man who had been assaulted'.
The appeal also stated that 'a white blind man would not have been treated that way'.
Witnesses who were at the debate testified at the appeal who claimed Mr Azamati was being 'dragged by his ankles'.
In a statement Oxford Union said it apologised 'unreservedly for the distress caused'.
Oxford University said: 'The Oxford Union is an independent society. The university has no control over its events.' 

Prince 'I-didn't-party-or-do-PDAs' Andrew is pictured doing plenty of both at wild parties on the French Riviera in 2007 (and he looks a wee bit sweaty too)

The Duke of York's claims he 'never really partied' and avoided 'public displays of affection' have been seriously undermined as new footage of him letting loose with a bevy of beautiful young women in Saint-Tropez is exclusively revealed by MailOnline today.
Prince Andrew is shown at a wild party thrown by wine tycoon Claude Ott on the French Riviera in July 2008, just weeks after his disgraced friend Jeffrey Epstein was prosecuted for trafficking an underage girl and forcing her into prostitution.   
The Prince insisted in his car crash BBC interview with Emily Maitlis on Saturday night that he wasn't a 'party prince', did not sweat because he was shot at in the Falklands and was 'not one to hug' women as he dismissed damaging claims he slept with his friend Epstein's sex slave Virginia Roberts.  
But in the new film the Prince appears worse for wear, his hair dishevelled with a hint of sweat and jacket abandoned. Dressed in all white, with his shirt untucked, he is seen heading to the dance floor with two women as techno blares out before he settles down talking to several glamorous female guests, getting in close to chat because of the loud music. 
A year earlier, in July 2007, photographs from another bash further trash his claims of avoiding partying and PDA because he is seen sweating and embracing a number of women including socialite Chris Von Aspen, who he holds by the waist before she later licks his face in Saint-Tropez.
At a different party on the same trip Andrew, who earned the nickname 'Randy Andy', is seen gripping Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau with one hand close to her bottom.
And at the start of the decade, the royal is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000, which was also attended by Epstein's alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, who had her arm round him for part of the night.  
EXCLUSIVE: Prince Andrew attends French Riviera party in late 2000s

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Photos show Prince Andrew enjoying the attentions of several women. In this photo, taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who licks him
Photos show Prince Andrew enjoying the attentions of several women. In this photo, taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who licks him
Prince Andrew enjoying himself  with American socialite Chris Von Aspen at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. That night he was pictured getting wild with Von Aspen, who at the time was dating Prince Albert of Monaco's right-hand man
Prince Andrew enjoying himself  with American socialite Chris Von Aspen at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. That night he was pictured getting wild with Von Aspen, who at the time was dating Prince Albert of Monaco's right-hand man
Prince Andrew is seen smiling with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who cups his face as they pose for photographs
Prince Andrew is seen smiling with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who cups his face as they pose for photographs. The two seemed enamored with each other in the photographs
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000
Prince Andrew is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000
At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell - Epstein's alleged co-conspirator - had her arm around the prince at the same Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party
At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell - Epstein's alleged co-conspirator - had her arm around the prince at the same Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party


Prince Andrew is facing an extraordinary backlash over his interview, which Prince Charles' former PR chief Dickie Arbiter described as: 'Not so much a car crash but an articulated lorry crash'.  Mr Arbiter said he must 'take a break' from royal duties, adding: 'What charity wants a VIP guest with this hanging over him?'
His older brother Charles has reportedly been urged to consider downgrading the Duke of York's status as a working royal when he takes to the throne because of the damage he has caused to the royal family's reputation. 
Lawyers in the US said the interview was 'unwise' because it reveals how close Andrew was to Epstein and how often they met up. Experts say he would not be immune to prosecution despite being a royal.
Anna Rothwell, from criminal law firm Corker Binning, said: 'Prince Andrew is not entitled to any form of immunity by virtue of his position as a member of the Royal family. His friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is under investigation by the FBI and he is vulnerable to extradition.
'It is therefore very unwise for the prince to give any account to the media, especially one which so starkly exposes the closeness of his relationship with Epstein, and again betrays yet another appalling lack of judgment.'
Viewers described watching Andrew's grilling by Ms Maitlis from behind their sofas as he denied having sex with Virginia Roberts because he was in Pizza Express in Woking.
He suggested that the world-famous picture of his arm around Ms Roberts' waist at Ghislaine Maxwell's London mews house could be faked as he denied ever meeting her.
Miss Roberts' evidence that he sweated 'profusely' on the three occasions she claims they gad sex were explained away by the duke claiming a rush of adrenaline while being shot at during the Falklands conflict in 1982 made it impossible for him to perspire.
A royal source claimed last night he has defiantly told his mother the Queen that his appearance on the BBC Two Newsnight special was largely a 'great success' - but a friend told the Mail he 'regretted' not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein's victims in his disastrous TV interview.
A source told The Times that he hoped the interview would end 'the sniping and the commentary' - but it has actually started a firestorm.
Today former royal protection officer said it went so badly for Prince Andrew it should spark a police investigation.
Dai Davies said he and the millions who watched would be 'utterly unconvinced' by the duke's denial that he slept with a teenager, or even met her. He said that he displayed 'classic signs' of someone not telling the truth and told the Mirror: 'It beggars belief the stupidity of his answers.' 
As the fallout from Andrew's extraordinary TV interview continues, it has emerged: 
US lawyer Spencer Kulvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, told Radio 4's Today programme Andrew should come forward to help the on-going investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Mr Kulvin said: 'As a lawyer I was rather shocked that he would go on camera like this because anything he says can be utilised in a cross examination of him later, should he choose to come forward, and actually, in an official capacity, allow himself to be interviewed by the US authorities - which I believe he should do.
'I don't think there's any way that a man who's been to all three of Mr Epstein's homes could avoid seeing what was going on in those homes, with people going in and out and young girls being shuttled in and out of those homes.'  
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing other alleged victims in the Epstein case, said about Andrew: 'I don't see how he could have not known that there were underage girls - minors. Because he did visit homes of Mr Epstein in New York, in Palm Beach, in the Virgin Islands; and I happen to know there were underage girls in all of those locations.
'So, why didn't he ask the questions: Where are your parents, are you in school, why aren't you in school, are you living here, are you working here, what kind of job do you have, what do you do, why are you here?' she said.
She went on to say she did not know how the duke could not have seen the young girls because 'there were so many of them'.
Asked what questions she would like to ask Andrew, Ms Allred said she wanted to know 'Who helped to recruit underage girls for Mr Epstein to be sexually assaulted, who was in the chain, who assisted, who knowingly conspired with Mr Epstein to traffic - to sex traffic - these children to Mr Epstein.'  

Pictures of Andrew partying in the 'noughties' appear to undermine claims made in the BBC interview. 
The previous summer Andrew was pictured cozying up to Canadian model Pascale Bourbeau at a bash he attended alongside his eldest daughter Princess Beatrice.
He appears to put his hand on Pascale's rear as they stand close together at the home of billionaire fire extinguisher magnate Tony Murray. 
At the 2008 party where he was filmed he was seen dancing at close quarters with a woman named at the time as Libyan model Nadia Boejna. He then left with a group of women, witnesses claimed. 
That night he was also filmed chatting with Polish-born socialite Beata Bohman – who went on to make headlines when she was arrested for shoplifting an $11,000 fur-lined scarf in New York. 
At one point, Andrew was pictured tensely looking at his mobile phone alongside a bald man who was described by onlookers as his 'fixer'. 
Later, he headed to a marina at Murray's mansion and got on a boat accompanied by 'five or six women' while Beatrice, now 31, left separately, according to a witness. 
A former Saint-Tropez reveler revealed: 'These were really crazy years for Andrew.
'He was clearly having a full-blown midlife crisis. He would have been 47 or 48 at the time, divorced from Sarah Ferguson, and basking in the attention he got from young women. 
'These were private parties held at mansions so I guess he felt he could let his guard down. 
'Things can get quite loose in Saint-Tropez. There were lots of beautiful young women looking for rich men. 
'People would often go off to the toilets to do drugs or for oral sex. 
'That was the best time to party in Saint-Tropez. Social media hadn't really taken off and most people didn't have cameras on their phone yet so people could just go and have fun. 
'Lots of the girls gravitated towards Andrew – royalty has that effect on the kind of women who flock to Saint-Tropez.' 
Andrew's partying days have come under increased scrutiny recently due to his controversial relationship with Epstein, who killed himself aged 66 in a New York jail cell in August after being arrested on federal sex trafficking charges.
Following Epstein's death, the Prince released a statement denying he ever saw or suspected any criminal behavior by the wealthy financier. 
However, he has faced a barrage of claims, including from Ms Roberts who accuse the Duke of York of sleeping with her while she was underage. 
The row was thrown further into the spotlight last night after Andrew's 'car crash' BBC interview. 
The 'no holds barred' interview saw the Prince quizzed on his relationship with Epstein - and he again denied ever having sex with the financier's 'sex slave' Ms Roberts.
The Duke faced a flurry of questions about his links to the paedophile, who was found dead aged 66 earlier this year in a New York prison cell while being held on sex trafficking charges.
Andrew maintained he does not recall meeting Ms Roberts and said he did not spend time with her at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10, 2001, after which she claims the pair first had sex.

He denied he slept with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen because he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.
As part of his defence, he disputed claims that he was sweating on the night he partied with Ms Roberts.
Andrew said: 'There's a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time.
'I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falkland's War when I was shot at and it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
'And it's only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again. So I'm afraid to say that there's a medical condition that says that I didn't do it.'
He added: 'I've no recollection of ever meeting her, I'm almost, in fact I'm convinced that I was never in Tramps with her.
'There are a number of things that are wrong with that story, one of which is that I don't know where the bar is in Tramps.
'I don't drink, I don't think I've ever bought a drink in Tramps whenever I was there.'
The latest video and pictures have put Andrew under yet more scrutiny.  
Pictures from top model Heidi Klum's 2000 Halloween party show him hanging out with Epstein's alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell. 
The pair can be seen together at the 'Hookers and Pimps'-themed party in New York City. 
Maxwell – the daughter of disgraced British press baron Robert Maxwell – wears a bleach blonde wig, midriff bearing top and gold pants as she chats to Andrew. 
The now infamous picture showing the Prince and Maxwell with alleged 'teen sex slave' Virginia Roberts is thought to have been taken the following year by Epstein in London. 
Virginia, 35, alleges Epstein and Maxwell, 57, directed her to have sex three times with Andrew – claims that both he and Maxwell vehemently deny. 
Donald Trump and his then-girlfriend Melania Knauss were also pictured posing with Klum at the party.  In the photos from the Halloween party, Andrew can be seen chatting to Klum, now 46.

In another infamous set of pictures taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen.
The blonde interior designer can be seen licking the Prince as the pair cavorted together.
An onlooker said: 'Chris was buzzed from drinking and had met Andrew before so she approached him. 
'She was a real party girl back then and went to all the celebrity parties in New York, LA, Saint-Tropez and Monaco. 
'Chris later claimed she hooked up with Andrew and you can see in the pictures that he was having a great time with her.
'He had a wild look in his eye – you can see that in the pictures too. 
'Chris was going out with Prince Albert of Monaco's right-hand man Bruno Philipponnat and got into trouble with him when the pictures came out.'