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Harvard Grad Students Charged Following Confrontation at October Pro-Palestine Protest

Two Harvard graduates students were charged with misdemeanors for their involvement in a pro-Palestine "die-in" at the Harvard Business School in October.
Two Harvard graduates students were charged with misdemeanors for their involvement in a pro-Palestine "die-in" at the Harvard Business School in October. By Frank S. Zhou
By Sally E. Edwards, Crimson Staff Writer

Two Harvard graduate students are facing criminal charges and up to 200 days in jail following their involvement in a confrontation with an Israeli student at a pro-Palestine protest at the Harvard Business School in October.

Elom Tettey-Tamaklo — a student at the Harvard Divinity School — and Ibrahim I. Bharmal — a student jointly enrolled at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School — were each charged with two misdemeanors last week for assault and battery, and violating the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act. The students face up to 100 days in jail for each misdemeanor charge.

Tettey-Tamaklo — an organizer with Grad Students 4 Palestine — and Bharmal were involved in a confrontation with a student at an Oct. 18 “die-in” protest at HBS.

A video of the incident went viral, in which Tettey-Tamaklo and Bharmal are seen approaching a man identified as an Israeli student by various news outlets. They then escorted the man out of the protest after he attempted to film the faces of protesters, blocking his camera with their security vests and keffiyehs.

Neither Tettey-Tamaklo nor Barhmal responded to requests for comment on the charges.

Following the publication of the video on X, a platform formerly known as Twitter, various Harvard alumni, including Bill A. Ackman ’88, penned two open letters criticizing the Harvard administration for failing to combat an alleged increase of antisemitism on campus.

The letters – one of which was co-authored by HBS alumnus Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — were published in early November, two months before former University President Claudine Gay resigned after criticism of the University’s response to the Hamas attack on Israel.

In April, Rep. Elise M. Stefanik ’06 (R-N.Y.) sent a letter to University leadership accusing Harvard of delaying “justice” for students involved in the confrontation. She accused the University of stalling an FBI investigation into the incident, which was launched days after the confrontation occurred.

Harvard University spokesperson Jason A. Newton declined to comment on the decision to charge students for their involvement in the confrontation.

Tettey-Tamaklo was indefinitely relieved from his position as a Harvard College proctor due to his actions at the protest. Bharmal, who was originally set to graduate from HLS in May, is now set to matriculate from both HLS and HKS in 2025.

— Staff writer Sally E. Edwards can be reached at sally.edwards@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @sallyedwards04 or on Threads @sally_edwards06.

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CrimeHarvard Law SchoolHarvard Kennedy SchoolHarvard Divinity SchoolProtestsFront Middle FeatureFeatured ArticlesIsrael Palestine