This letter appeared in The Observer (p42 –click here) on 26 June 2011. The “Staff and Students” group have kindly provided us with the full version plus all 167 signatures.

Open Letter in Reaction to Unileaks publication and Dr. Rod Thornton’s paper “How a student’s use of a library book became a major Islamist plot”

We write as concerned alumni, staff and students of the University of Nottingham in response to the article “University secretly films students to monitor potential extremists” which appeared in The Observer on Sunday 12th June 2011. These revelations of alleged serious misconduct by University senior management follow a release of confidential internal documents by Unileaks. Of particular concern to us are new details of covert surveillance of student protesters and the maintenance of databases monitoring Arab and Palestinian-themed events by university management.

We are alarmed that university senior management appear to conflate protest on campus with violent extremism. In recent years, peaceful student protesters have been met with police action and arrestphysical forcesurveillance, disciplinary action, and more. The arrests of two university members, Hicham Yezza and Rizwaan Sabir, in 2008 were not isolated incidents but, in our view, indicate an institutional culture of intolerance within university senior management.

Much of what we highlight has also been documented in a recent whistle-blowing report by Dr. Rod Thornton. We add our voices to that of Noam Chomsky and other leading academics who have called for his reinstatement. As university members we support calls for a full independent investigation into the matters raised by Dr. Thronton’s report and the Unileaks documents. Lastly we call for meaningful change within university management to ensure that students rights are upheld and that there are no further infringements upon the right to protest.


John Robarts, Politics 2000; SU General Secretary 98/99
Chris Norris, Industrial Economics 2004; SU General Secretary 04/5
Roxana Carmen Shamsolmaali, Neuroscience, 2011; SU Executive 2009/10
Tarig Hilal, Politics 1998; SU Vice President 98-99
Dr Shazaad Ahmad, Medicine, 2006, President, Islamic Society 04/05
Libby Powell, BA English & Philosophy, 2006; SU Executive 05/06
Dr Samer Ali, Enviromental Eng, 2007, Arabic Society President 04/05
Anna Morris, Law 2000, SU Executive 98/99
Vala Withrow, Law, 2007 – SU Executive 07/08
Matthew Butcher, Geography, 2010; SU Executive 08/09
Shuaib Alzaghir, Electrical Engineering, 2007; President, Islamic Society 06/07
Thomas Williams, Politics, 2010; SU Executive 09/10
James Barton, Physics & Philosophy, 1998, SU Executive 97/98
Sara Halimah, BSc Neuroscience, 2009; SU Executive, 08/09
Ali Blackwell, English Studies, 2008; President, New Theatre 07/08
Peter Blair, BA Politics, 2009; President, Politics Society 07/08
Timothy Lees, BA Theology, 2009; President Debating Union 2008/9.
Omer Ali, Economics 2006, President of Sudanese Nile society 04/05
Sam Waton, BSc Physics, 2008; President, Student Peace Movement 06/07
Thomas Bennett, Architecture, 2009; President, Student Peace Movement, 08-09
Laura Teague, English Studies, 2004, Student Action for Refugees 03/04
Hussein Khalidi, Latin American Studies, 2012; President, Palestinian Society 09/10
Salim Bamakhrama, Architecture, 2007, President, Islamic Society 05/06
Mike Etienne, Law 2011, Black and Minority ethnic students officer 2010-11
Adam Elliott-Cooper, Politics, 2009; Black and Minority Ethnic Students’ Committee, 08-9,
Andrew Parkinson, BA Management Studies, 2008; President of High Society, 2007/08
Corin Faife, BA French & Politics, 2009; Impact Magazine Associate Editor 2006/2007
Catherine Taylor, Politics, 2006,  President of Humanist Society 2005/2006
Riyaz H Dhalla, Law, 2006, Vice-President Pakistani Society 2005/2006
Paul Lam,  Law, 2009, President of Chess Society 2008/2010
Talal Kanaan, Manufacturing Engineering, 2011; President, Palestinian Society 10/11
Tom Caster, BA Politics, 2009; Vice-President Politics Society 2008/2009
Nicholas Coomber, BA Politics, 2010; LGBT Campaigns Officer 2009/2010
Simon Bell, BA English Studies, 2009; Vice-President of High Society 2008-09
Osman Iqbal, BA English and Philosophy, 2007; President of Welsh Society 2005-06
George Godson, BA Politics, 2009; President of UONAP, 2008-2009
Jeannine Moros-Noujaim, BArch Architecture 2010, Vice President of Architects Sans Frontiers (ASF) Society 2008-2010
Ashkan Azarkerdar, School of Mathematical Sciences, BSc (2009) MSc (2010), President of Forum, Editor of the Voice Magazine 06-07
Owen Devine, Architecture 2009; Nottingham Young Greens 2009
Mohamad El-Zaatari, BSc/PhD Human Genetics/pre-clinical oncology, 2007
Dr Adnan Sidddique, Medicine, 1991
Rafaela Camassa, LLM Human Rights Law, 2011
Peter Gerry, BA Politics, 2009
Henrique Gomes, PhD Maths, 2010
Ashley Sykes, BA History, 2009
Dominic Price, Research Fellow in Computer Science
Anna Tkaczynska, LLM Public International Law, 2007
Jordan Woodgate, Geography, 2011
Andy Platt, Electical Engineering, 1991
Arthur Belluomo, Philosophy, 2013
Naveed Naz BA Finance, Accounting and Management, 2006
Penny Dale, BSc Psychology 2009
James Coton, MA Politics and Contemporary History, 2010
Polly Rebecca Winch, BA Politics, 2009
Dunia Tuquan, MA in Stem Cell Research, 2011
Luisa Miller, BA Sociology, 2008
Thomas Kavanagh, BA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, 2009
Caroline Inglesant, LLM Law, 2007
Juliet Whitley, BA Politics, 2009
Rachel Walls, American and Canadian Studies (PhD Candidate)
Victoria Abrahams, BA Philosophy, 2009
Catriona Towriss, BA Geography, 2009
Victoria Cabral, Law, 2008
Jonathan Benett,  BA Politics and American Studies, 2009
Kathryn Telling, PhD candidate Centre for Critical Theory
Emilia Jane Hanna, LLM Law, 2010
Christopher Willans, BSc Geography, 2007
Kirk Jackson, BSc Computer Science, 1993; Research Assistant 1994-1997
 Dr Thomas Cochrane, PhD Philosophy 2007
Camille Herreman, BA European Politics, 2009
Bethan Thomas, BA Geography & Chinese Studies, 2009
Musab Younis, BA Politics, 2010
Mohamad Bilbaisi, MEng Manufacturing Engineering, 2011
Hamza Abu Laban, MEng Civil Engineering, 2011
Ibrahim Yassine, BEng Manufacturing Engineering, 2011
Abd Ilraouf Asfour, BEng Manufacturing Engineering, 2011
Hamza Mirza, ArtBA Architecture, 2012
Shabina Raja, BSc Physics, 2012
Alex Mix, MA International Relations, 2008
Mohannad Nasar, BEng Civil Engineering, 2010
Kayleigh Meller, BA English Language and Literature, 2013
Dr Amar Latif, Medicine, 2009.
Jelena Hadzic, LLM International Criminal Justice and Armed Conflict, 2009
Afua Kokayi, BA Geography, 2013
James Brenchley, MA Politics, 20008
Theodore Sweeting, BA English and American Studies, 2008; MA American Studies, 2009
Saleh Abukmeil, LLM Commercial Law, 2009
Abdullah Shami, Civil Engineering, 2011
Abida Malik, BA Sociology and Social Policy, 2008
Robert Jackson, BSc Mathematical Physics 1999-02; MA Philosophy, 2002-03 Nottingham Student Peace Movement, 2003
Stuart McGlone, MA International Relations, 2010
Hannah Boast, English Studies and Philosophy, 2009
Nick Lawford, Art History & English Studies, 1999
Catriona Gold, BA Geography, 2012.
Bobby Jewell, BA Archaeology, 2008.
Sophie Pearce, BA Politics, 2006; MA Social and Global Justice, 2008
Andrew Black, BSc Economics 2007, Research Associate Business School, 2008-10
Dr. Sara De Jong, PhD Politics, 2010
Marianne Baker, Bsc Biochemistry & Genetics, 2007
Houssam Allisa, BA English Studies, 2009
Amy Hinks, MA International Relations, 2008
Sura Salaam, MA International Relations, 2008
Luisa Miller, BA Social & Cultural Studies, 2008
Rosi Smith, PhD Modern Languages & Cultures, 2011
Theo Reeves-Evison, MA Critical Theory, 2011
Juliet Line, BA French and Portugese Studies, 2002; MA Hispanic Studies, 2004
Jack Cornish, BA Politics, 2008
Harriet Yudkin, BA Social & Cultural Studies, 1997
Vanesa Baerga, MA Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, 2008
Ayesha Christie, MA Social and Global Justice, 2008
Eleanor Glass, BA Social and Cultural Studies, 2007; MA Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights, 2008
Rebecca Pozzi Taubert, BA Politics, 2009
Emma Milne, BA Politics, 2009; Welfare Officer Politics Society 2008/2009
Betsy Barkas, BA Russian Studies, 2008;
Phillip Ball, BA English Studies, 2007
Bianca Stewart, BA History and Politics, 2010
Sarah Coxon, BA Management Studies, 2007
Roy Ashman, American Studies, 2008
Teodora Todorova, BA social cultural studies 2008, MA Post conflict cultures 2009
Mohamed Nawari Electrical Engineering, 2005
Jon Minton, Electrical Engineering, 2003
Guy Cookson, BA  Sociology, 1999.
Christina Rebel, MA Social and Global Justice, 2010
Dr. Bernhard Weicht, PhD Sociology, 2010
Anthony Paul Smith, Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Theology and Religious Studies.
Freyja Sears, Neuroscience MSci 2008
Dr Ian Smith, Film Studies, 2011
Emily Hawes, Critical Theory, 2008
David Pike, MA Social and Global Justice, 2011
Densua Mumford, Politics, 2008
Selina Rajnikant Patel, Latin American Studies, 2009
Samuel Grove, Critical Theory, 2005
Aimee Allam, Politics, 2009
Elizabeth Adams, Biotechnology, 2007
Jennifer Martinez, Politics (PhD), 2011
Ben Samuel, Chemistry, 2008
Dr Andy Robinson, BA/MA/PHD Politics, 2005
Ian Aryeh-Thompson, American Studies, 2009
Matthew Whitney, BA Philosophy, 2005.
Owen Devine, Architecture 2009,
Tamsin Worrad, BSc Biochemistry & Genetics, 2007
Katrien Witpas, MA Critical Studies
Judy Thorne, BA (Hons) Philosophy, 2005-2009
Damien Smyth, MA History, 2011
Omar Tahboub, BEng Civil Engineering, 2007
Sirisha Gollapudi, BSc Computer Science,2003; PhD Bioinformatics, 2010
Brynmor Cochrane-Milne History and Politics (BA) 2013
Julian Callan, BSc Psychology, 2008
Tom Mclenachan B.A., English & Russian, PgDip Serbian/Croatian 2010
Dr. Martin Findell, PhD English, 2010
Tom Walker BA(2002) MA(2004) Music and Art History
Elizabeth Pilliere, Environmental Biology, 2008
Michael Bray, BA Management Studies, 2002;MA International Relations, 2003
Martin Jacobsen, BA Politics, 2011
Joshua Roberts, Politics, 2009
Ghazi Suliman Jr ,BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, 2006
Alexander Rayment, BA Politics, 2006
Imad Mahyub, BEng Chemical Engineering,1999
Mark Anthony
Eugene McMackin
Dom Hildreth
Dr Suzanne Dow, Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies
Dr Lisa Walsh, Lecturer, Departments of French, 2003-2007
Jon Simons, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University (US) (Notts staff until 2006)
Dr. Caroline Edwards PhD Critical Theory 2010, now Department of English University of Surrey
Click here for online version (fourth letter down)