German univ denies Indian an internship citing ‘rape problem’


NEW DELHI: A professor in Germany on Monday apologised for refusing an Indian male student an internship because of his country’s “rape problem”, after the German ambassador to India condemned the incident.

Annette Beck-Sickinger, a professor at Leipzig University, expressed regret after her emails refusing the Indian man surfaced on social media, causing a wave of anger.

The incident prompted Germany’s ambassador to India Michael Steiner to write a letter objecting to her “oversimplifying and discriminating generalisation” of Indian men.

Beck-Sickinger wrote in an email on Sunday that she did not “accept any Indian male students for internships” as she heard “a lot about the rape problem in India”.

“I have many female friends in my group, so I think this attitude is something I cannot support,” she wrote to the Indian student, whose identity has not been revealed.

He replied asking for the reasoning behind her “painful generalisations” and “hurtful words”.

In a statement uploaded on the German embassy website, the professor apologised saying: “I have made a mistake. I sincerely apologise to everyone whose feelings I have hurt.”



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