AMMAN – Two Saudi brothers expelled from Amman Al-Ahliya University in Jordan have filed a lawsuit against the university, describing their expulsion as “reactionary”, “without legal grounds” and based on “false suspicions.”
Ali and Yahya Aal Taleb, who were in their fourth year of study and only one semester away from graduating, said they turned to Jordanian lawyer Ibrahim Al-Qatawna after all amicable approaches to the university and the Saudi Cultural Attaché to be reinstated had failed.
Ali was the first of the two to be expelled last month for what the university described as a “breach of meetings and symposiums regulations” following his intervention at a university open meeting with Saudi Cultural Attaché Ali Al-Zahrani, but the brothers dispute this saying that Ali’s support for a petition to the embassy from a group of Saudi students was the true reason, noting that at the meeting Al-Zahrani accused Ali of belonging to ‘those unacceptable gatherings’.
“When I asked to be given the chance to deny the accusation the university president told me to be silent or leave the hall, which I did quietly,” Ali said.
Ali was notified the following morning of his expulsion for a violation of regulations governing meetings and symposiums.
Yahya says he was dismissed the following day over his letter to the university president objecting to his brother’s expulsion. “He told me to leave his office and I was expelled the next day,” Yahya said.
Ali said accusations that he had incited students to strike had arisen from increased press coverage of their case.
“Dr. Ali Al-Zahrani took a passive stand at first but the appearance of the story in the press in Jordan and the Kingdom embarrassed him and he started making excuses,” Ali said. “He then went on to bring up false allegations that we incited students to go on strike on June 2, and brought the matter to the knowledge of the Saudi Ambassador.”
The pair, who spent June 2 in the Kingdom, a day which reportedly passed without any strike by students at the Ammam university, also lament the lack of action from the Ministry of Higher Education, despite having met with Minister Khalid Al-Anqari who ordered that the case be looked into.
“It shows that the ministry has accepted the attaché’s report,” they said. “We cannot rule out him (Al-Zahrani) making false allegations in the report to protect himself, as he might be questioned for not joining in our cause given that his task is to look after students and their interests.”
Al-Zahrani previously stated that the university had the right for its decisions to be respected.
“We tried to have the decision revoked but we have clear instructions from the Minister of Higher Education not to intervene in the university’s decisions,” Al-Zahrani said last month.
The Aal Taleb brothers will now take the issue to Al-Sult Court in Amman, while also appealing to the Saudi Minister of Higher Education and the Human Rights Commission to go to Jordan and hear their side of the story. – Okaz/SG