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German embassy snubs professor for rape remark

DC CORRESPONDENT | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Mar 10, 2015, 2:04 pm IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 4:06 pm IST
Professor Annette Beck-Sickinger, the professor at Leipzig University who rejected the Indian student an internship, expressed regret after her emails refusing the Indian man surfaced on social media, causing a wave of anger. (Photo: www.uni-leipzig
 Professor Annette Beck-Sickinger, the professor at Leipzig University who rejected the Indian student an internship, expressed regret after her emails refusing the Indian man surfaced on social media, causing a wave of anger. (Photo: www.uni-leipzig

New Delhi: A German woman professor at University of Leipzig has apologised after citing the “rape problem in India” for refusing internship to an Indian male student, triggering a huge row.

Prof. Beck-Sickinger was quoted by the German Embassy as saying, “I have made a mistake. I sincerely apologise to everyone whose feelings I have hurt.”

German ambassador to India Michael Steiner lashed out at the professor, saying: “India is not a country of rapists”. The German embassy later said Mr Steiner had “noted” the university’s announcement that Prof. Annette Beck-Sickinger of its Institute of Biochemistry had apologised.

The issue rocked the social media on Monday after websites quoted Prof. Annette Beck-Sickinger telling the Indian student in an email: “Unfortunately, I don’t accept any Indian male students for internships. We hear a lot about the rape problem in India, which I cannot support. I have many female friends in my group, so I think this attitude is something I cannot support.”

The 2012 rape case has refocused attention on the issue of violence against women. Rape is indeed a serious issue in India as in most countries, including Germany.

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