”This stand was supposed to have been taken by Fugro. Fugro's business is controversial, and the university management do not wish that they be part of the business days. The University Management", it said on a poster (to the right) that was attached to an empty exhibition stand at the sports hall at the University of Oslo yesterday.
Fugro was initially registered to attend this week's Business Days at the University of Oslo. But few days before, they are said to have been refused participation at the event. Fugro Norway was present at the same event last spring.
The Norwegian seismic survey company last year took part in seismic surveys in violation of international law offshore occupied Western Sahara, on behalf of the occupying power Morocco. The Norwegian Ministry of Finances has called similar operations a "serious violation of fundamental ethical norms", and has divested from a company engaged in such activity.
The Business Days this week are organised by IAESTE (The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) which promotes traineeships abroad for Norwegian students.
It is not the first time that Fugro's attendance at business days at the Univiersity of Oslo creates controversy. Last autumn, the students at the University of Oslo decided that Fugro was not allowed to return to the university.
"The Students' Welfare Council asks all career institutions attached to the Foundation for Student Life in Oslo to abstain from inviting Fugro-Geoteam to similar evnts in the future. Should Fugro-Geoteam publicly apologize for their support to the occupation, this demand not longer applies", stated the students.
Fugro is registered also as attendant of the same kind of Business Days at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim on 11 February.
Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
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