After Censorship, Student Newspaper Editor in Britain Resigns via Facebook: ‘It is the Only Avenue Left’

An editor of The SOAS Spirit, the student newspaper serving the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, has quit in protest over alleged censorship.

In a public letter of resignation posted yesterday afternoon (U.S. time) on Facebook, Gloria de-Waal Montgomery charges the student union with temporarily delaying publication of the Spirit‘s current issue and removing an article she penned about “potential corruption” within the union regarding possibly “missing charity money.”

As she writes, “I apologise in advance for posting this here, but I feel it is the only avenue left.  After two years of working as an editor of the SOAS Spirit newspaper, I have today decided to quit due to its lack of independence and responsibility towards the student body.  I have spent the last 6 weeks gathering information on potential corruption within the [student] union: the basketball team and the funds that were raised for their tour.  This involved trying to address why the basketball team has been so resistant to handing their tour money over, despite multiple requests over the past 12 months.

“Despite the effort I put in to interview the appropriate actors . . . the entire paper was held back from being released this month due to the controversy surrounding my article. I have today been informed that my piece will not to go to print. . . . There has been pressure by certain members of the union to not go to print with the paper until they deem it appropriate. Thus my article was deliberately held back due to ‘internal pressure’ from the union.  At this rate, I feel I have no choice but to resign as publicly as possible so students know that not everyone at the paper is in agreement with what has taken place.  Freedom of speech is meaningless if it does not include the freedom to criticise.”

Beneath the letter, de-Waal Montgomery posted the full draft of the story at the center of the controversy and alleged censorship.

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