German Professor rejects Indian student due to the country's 'rape problem'

Professor Sickinger says the practice is carried out by 'many female professors in Germany'

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The Independent Online

A German professor has apologised after turning down a student because of India's rape problem

After an unnamed student wrote to Professor Annette G. Beck-Sickinger, at Leipzig University, the German professor replied saying she couldn't accept him because of India's attitude to rape.

She wrote: “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 that I cannot support.”

When the applicant replied saying that he believed Professor Sickinger to overly generalising, she replied that: “I fully agree that this is a generalisation and may not apply to individuals. However it is unbelievable that Indian society is not able to solve this problem for many years now.”

She added that she felt “multi-rape” crimes in India were emblematic of the country’s attitude to women and added that the rejection of male Indian students for these reasons was a practice carried out by “many female professors” in Germany.

Some claimed that the email was so shocking that it must be a hoax, however when the Professor was contacted by HuffPost India, she confirmed the authenticity of the email. She reportedly stated that her lab was full and that this had led to an “unpleasant discussion” with one student.

“I apologise if I caused any misunderstanding, but the email was taken out of context.”

After screenshots posted on the website Quora went viral, the German ambassador, Michael Steiner wrote a letter to Professor Sickinger condemning the nature of her rejection.

He said: “Let me make it clear at the outset that I strongly object to [your actions].

He continued: “Yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day at the German Embassy here in Delhi with many local activists including men.  Your oversimplifying and discriminating generalization is an offense to these woman and men ardently committed to furthering women empowerment in India.

“Let’s be clear: India is not a country full of rapists.”

India has been the subject of intense media scrutiny regarding social attitudes towards rape.

Last week, the Indian government issued an order to block the showing the documentary India’s Daughter, the subject of which was a brutal 2012 brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.

In the documentary, one of the men sentenced for the crime stated that: “A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.”

On Thursday, a man accused of rape was dragged from his cell in the city of Dimapur, Nagaland and beaten to death by a vigilante mob before being strung on the city’s clock tower.

According to crime statistics on the Nation Master website, Germany has the 43rd highest proportionate rate of rape in the world whilst India is in equal 94th.

Figures do not take into account rape incidents that go unreported to the police

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