Students at Risk: three student activists in the MPA Programme
In the current issue of Studvest we can read interviews with three of the new students in our Master's Programme in Public Administration. Bheki Dlamini, Doğan Çelik and Sait Matty Jaw are in Bergen through the “Students at Risk” program to finish the education their country won't allow them.
Political activist Bheki Dlamini has a BA in social science from the University of Swaziland. He has spent one year in exile in South-Africa, and cannot return to Swaziland. He has been arrested several times for being a member of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the biggest oppositional movement, which since the Swaziland Terrorism Act in 2008 has been regarded as an act of terrorism. Dlamini has faced beatings, torture, detentions and exile, but is still hopeful to one day witness a free, just and democratic Swaziland.
- The struggling people of the world have always been on the winning side. No matter how long it takes, eventually the chains will be broken.
Sait Matty Jaw has been a human rights activist in Gambia since he was 12 years old. He has a BA in political science and MA in African history from the University of the Gambia. Jaw is determined to bring about change in Gambia and is a well-known feminist back home - advocating for women’s empowerment, especially with regards to female genital mutilation and for young women’s representation in the political system. Jaw has been arrested twice while doing a study on governance for Fox International. He won the trial, but could not continue his education back home. Jaw hopes for a life where they can say how they feel about their country’s development without being afraid.
- The country belongs to everybody. The public space needs to be free so people can express themselves and contribute to a meaningful national development.
Doğan Çelik has a BA in political science from the Istanbul Bilgi University. He became a human rights activist in 2006 and has been especially engaged in the rights of minorities in Turkey. These are people who are either stateless with no kind of political representation or suppressed by dominant political actors in their own homeland, and have no access to political or economic welfare. Çelik is a Kurd, the largest ethnic minority in the country, who have been subject to harsh political harassment and was for a long time denied status as an ethnic minority, and also an Alevi, belonging to a religious group who have been struggling for recognition by the Turkish state. After protesting against the IMF in 2009, Çelik was detained and abused by the police. The case is still being investigated and the court has still not made a final decision about the lawsuit.
- Diplomatic and military inequality must no longer be the destiny of downtrodden people.
You can read the interviews here.