The University of Ottawa is being criticized for suspending a medical resident after he shared pro-Palestinian views on social media.
Dr. Yipeng Ge, a resident physician in his fourth year of public health and preventive medicine, has been reposting information on X — previously known as Twitter — since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.
A joint Instagram post on Saturday by journalist Shaun King and a page called Hidden Palestine indicates Ge was "abruptly" suspended from his residency. It also alleged the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine misused its authority, intimidating residents and students through censorship, and urged people to call on the school to investigate professor Dr. Yoni Freedhoff.
Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, wrote a blog post On Nov. 2, targeting Ge for his pro-Palestinian social media posts and accusing him of antisemitism. Freedhoff also called out Ge on X, claiming he was spreading antisemitism.
Allegedly, Ge was suspended shortly after Freedhoff's blog was published.
In response to Ge's suspension, a petition was created with the aim of reinstating him and launching an inquiry into the program. The petition goes further, urging the University of Ottawa to "issue an apology for the failure to engage in due process in the investigation of Dr. Yipeng Ge and other students of the University of Ottawa who have been unjustly denied their fundamental right to free expression."
The petition also calls for the University of Ottawa to take steps to protect Ge from further harassment and to address Freedhoff's alleged actions, holding him accountable for harassing the medical resident and potentially exposing him to physical and reputational harm.
As of Sunday afternoon, the petition has received more than 28,000 signatures.
Following the news of Ge's suspension, many social media users began criticizing the University of Ottawa. Numerous people highlighted the medical resident had been actively sharing posts advocating for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Reinstate Dr. Yipeng Ge and Launch Inquiry into uOttawa Faculty of Medicine
They want to fire him for calling “ceasefire” he is a human being and deserves better treatment
- Sign the Petition! https://t.co/RWKwFOvGMP via @CdnChange
— absan (@absan86) November 19, 2023
The tweets I have seen by @yipengGe have called for a ceasefire & pointed out the tremendous suffering of the Palestinian people. There has been no hate speech or antisemitism.
This is sadly an example of bullying in medicine & academia@uOttawa please do better
— RealMed, MD🇨🇦💅🏽 (@RealMed3) November 19, 2023
As long as I have known @yipengGe, he has been committed to equity, anti-racism and justice. He has been unjustly suspended from residency, without due process, for supporting Palestinian human rights. Please tell @OttawaU this is not OK. https://t.co/9ohHTVxOss
— Ritika Goel (@RitikaGoelTO) November 19, 2023
I am disturbed & appalled at the suspension of Dr. @yipengGe from @uOttawaPHPM. He is amongst numerous healthcare workers being targeted for speaking against the violence in Palestine. Please sign and share widely. He does not deserve this. -- https://t.co/5qHkEdeYDY
— Nisha Kansal (@Nisha_Kansal) November 19, 2023
I am ashamed by my university @uOttawa. You would think @uottawa would want more medical residents like @yipengGe who speak out against bombings of hospitals. Instead The faculty of medicine suspended him ! Shame! https://t.co/Rmv99nQaeu
— Baljit Nagra (@drbaljitnagra) November 19, 2023
Do you know this core principle called academic freedom? Do you need a reminder by @CAUT_ACPPU?
Dr Ge's is allowed to openly condemn the genocide of 🇵🇸 and plead for a ceasefire no matter what a faculty's take on the matter is.
Please repair the harm done now. https://t.co/byXu7YvcRR
— Dr Katherine Blouin 🍉 (@isisnaucratis) November 19, 2023
Yahoo Canada has reached out to Ge and the University of Ottawa for comment.