Lecturer quits to act as human shield for Baghdad power plant

21st March 2003 at 00:00
A lecturer from Hertfordshire is among a group of peace protesters acting as human shields in Iraq.

Uzma Bashir quit her part-time job teaching social health and care at West Herts College, Watford, in January to join the collective of anti-war campaigners who have taken up residence at civilian sites in Baghdad.

The 32-year-old, who flew out at the end of February, has been stationed at the Durah electrical power plant in northern Baghdad.

While in Iraq, Miss Bashir and her fellow campaigners are under the care of their host group, Friendship, Peace and Solidarity - a non-governmental Iraqi organisation.

Until last year, she had never taken part in any form of political activism but is now resigned to staying in the country until the end of the conflict.

In a letter to Tony Blair earlier this month, Miss Bashir said: "I hope the British presence, including myself, will deter USUK bombing of this extremely important humanitarian site, which if bombed will not only stop power to hospitals, schools and homes but will also bring down sites such as water purification facilities which provide clean water to millions of Iraqi civilians."

Views on the conflict among union members vary, according to Peter Bold, the Natfhe rep at West Herts college.

Staff at the college are considering whether to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis.

Mr Bold said: "Natfhe's official position is that we're against the war, but it's not a centralist organisation and members are allowed to hold their own views.

"As far as human shields go, it's up to their individual conscience and choice and people are entitled to do what they want."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now