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Birmingham pair handed protest ban

Students bailed until May on disorder charge

Two students charged with violent disorder after taking part in a demonstration at Birmingham University were bailed yesterday and will return to court on May 23.

Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers were arrested with 12 others students after being kettled on a rooftop for over four hours on Wednesday evening.

The pair were initially refused bail and appeared at Birmingham magistrates' court in the afternoon.

Bail conditions placed on Mr Furse ban him from attending any protest in the city.

He and five other students have been suspended from Birmingham University until September with no right of appeal.

A petition calling for the students to be reinstated has already attracted over 1,200 supporters.

An eyewitness said the third-year politics student was arrested after telling students being put into police vans to phone a solicitor.

Sanaz Raji told the Star: "The police just came over and just grabbed him.

"I think what happened was that the police knew who he was, they were itching for any excuse just to grab him.

"Anyone that was being taken from the kettle by the police, he was letting them know their legal rights and the police did not like that.

"He wasn't violent, he wasn't agressive, he was just letting those who had been arrested know their legal rights."

A judge barred Ms Rogers, who is not a Birmingham University student, from travelling to the city.

The other students arrested have been ordered to sleep at their home address every night, and not to enter any university, meet publicly in groups of more than 10 without police consent or associate with other arrested students.

All were detained by police after occupying the university's great hall in a 300-strong rally for free education.

Police held a group of 30 in the rain before releasing them in pairs - but not before searching them and taking their name and address.

Solicitor Simon Natas said it would be "very disturbing" if police flouted a High Court ruling that made it illegal to force people to give personal details as a condition of release from a kettle.


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