Andrew Ross, a faculty member at New York University who has been a sharp critic of the abuse of migrant workers in the construction of its campus in the United Arab Emirates, is the target of a mysterious investigation, The New York Times reports. An investigator has been seeking out “people to comment negatively” about him, the Times says, but has refused to disclose who hired her.
The investigation has also taken aim at a reporter, Ariel Kaminer, who co-wrote an article for the Times about the exploitation of workers in NYU’s project in Abu Dhabi, the emirates’ capital.
John Beckman, an NYU spokesman, said the university had “no knowledge” of the investigation and “no involvement” in it. It is “reprehensible and offensive on its face,” he said, “and we call on whoever is involved to desist immediately.”
A spokeswoman for the emirates’ embassy in Washington declined either to join NYU in condemning the investigation or to shed light on its purpose. The Times noted that the Persian Gulf nation has a record of striking back at critics of labor conditions there. Mr. Ross found himself barred from entering the country earlier this month.