Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements. Scholars at Risk identifies situations of concern on its own and welcomes reports submitted by faculty, students and volunteers at participating higher education institutions. Subscribe to SAR’s weekly media review.
The below articles were featured in the media review in 2017.
Academic freedom goes on trial
George F. Will, Washington Post, 12/29
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court can soon right a flagrant wrong stemming from events set in motion in 2014 at Milwaukee’s Marquette University by Cheryl Abbate. Although just a graduate student, she already had a precocious aptitude for academic nastiness. Read more.
Ahmadreza Djalali’s Wife: My Husband Was “Framed” For Refusing to Spy for Iran
Center for Human Rights in Iran, 12/28
The wife of an Iranian-born Swedish resident sentenced to death in Iran on espionage charges has denied new allegations that her husband spied for the Israeli secret service, Mossad. Read more.
Turkey brain drain: Crackdown pushes intellectuals out
Mark Lowen, BBC News, 12/28
Bulent Somay didn’t choose to leave – he feels Turkey pushed him out. The 61-year-old professor packed his life into a dozen boxes, bade farewell to his students at Istanbul’s Bilgi University and moved to a new teaching position in Brussels, where he believes he’s no longer at risk. Read more.
Cameroon to deport US-based author Patrice Nganang
BBC News, 12/27
A judge in Cameroon has ordered the release of a US-based author and academic who was detained for allegedly threatening President Paul Biya’s life. Read more.
Academics say research is being hindered by universities’ fear of online backlash
Harry Yorke, The Telegraph, 12/23
Academics say they have been forced to leave the country to pursue their research interests as British universities are accused of blocking studies over fears of backlash on social media. Read more.
Death threats are forcing professors off campus
Dan Lieberman, CNN, 12/21
Two dozen students marched out of their classroom at Drexel University in Philadelphia last month carrying signs that read “Where is our professor?” and “Bring back GCM.” Read more.
A Brief History of Students Secretly Recording Their Professors
Steve Kolowich and Chris Quintana, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/21
James O’Keefe, the right-wing activist known for trying to stage sting operations against government agencies and news organizations, appeared Wednesday at a gathering of conservative students to recruit spies. Read more.
Call from Judith Butler for Solidarity with Academics for Peace
Prominent feminist philosopher and queer theoretician, US post-structuralist philosopher Judith Butler and academic Başak Ertür wrote about the trial of Academics for Peace on The Guardian daily newspaper. Read more.
Why aren’t more universities hosting at-risk scholars?
Louisa Simmons, University Affairs, 12/19
Early last week, a Turkish woman stood at the front of one of Parliament’s classically decorated dining rooms and told a harrowing personal story of governmental oppression, threats and displacement. Read more.
Is net neutrality key to academic freedom and wider access?
Sara Custer, Times Higher Education, 12/19
In an age of Donald Trump, research funding cuts and debates about free speech on campus, “net neutrality” has struggled to reach the top of the US higher education debate. Read more.
Forced Confession of Academic on Death Row in Iran Has No Legitimacy
Center for Human Rights in Iran, 12/18
The forced confession broadcast December 17 on Iranian state TV and used to validate the death sentence against Ahmadreza Djalili is completely illegitimate and in no way validates the unlawful judicial process used to convict the Iranian-born Swedish resident on espionage charges. Read more.
Intellectual freedom the target of illiberal regimes
University World News, 12/16
A literature professor on hunger strike has become the symbol of the mass purge of academics in Turkey, where the current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undermining the country’s status as an international centre for learning and intellectual exchange through increasing authoritarian control aimed at consolidating power. Read more.
Author of book Hong Kong Nationalism among Taiwanese scholars barred from city
Kimmy Chung, South China Morning Post, 12/16
The pair accused the Hong Kong government of undermining academic freedom by refusing them entry and implementing unnecessarily tight immigration controls. Read more.
Academic Freedom Goes to Court
Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, 12/15
Peaceful protest carries no guarantee against violence. In mid-May, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, came to the United States to meet with Donald Trump, who had made haste to congratulate him on winning a referendum in April. Read more.
Universities alarmed new treason laws could target academics
Primrose Riordan, The Australian, 12/15
Universities are alarmed that academics receiving foreign cash could be targeted by the new treason laws and are seeking urgent assurances from the government. Read more.
Activism lands Stony Brook professor Patrice Nganang in jail
Mark Chiusano, AM New York, 12/13
The Stony Brook professor finally got word back to his university. He wanted to tell his students that unfortunately their recommendation letters would be delayed. He had been jailed in his native Cameroon — partially because of a Facebook post. Read more.
Candidate for Hong Kong University vice-chancellor position urged to reveal stance on academic freedom
Karen Cheung, Hong Kong Free Press, 12/13
Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen has urged the recommended candidate for Hong Kong University vice-chancellor to reveal his stance on academic freedom. Read more.
Narrowing the Terms of Tenure
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 12/13
It’s hard to build faculty consensus on anything, but professors across Arkansas and colleagues elsewhere are speaking out against proposed changes to the University of Arkansas System’s personnel policies — changes they say would make them tenured or working toward tenure in name only. Read more.
Professor who says Sandy Hook was a hoax sued the university that fired him. A jury ruled against him.
Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, 12/12
A Florida jury this week rejected a professor’s claim that he lost his job and had his free speech rights trampled because he insists the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a hoax. Read more.
Scholar’s death sentence upheld as appeal ‘not filed’
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 12/11
The imprisoned scholar, Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-born Swedish resident and specialist in emergency medicine, has been told by the court that his execution will go ahead because no appeal was submitted within the deadline. Read more.
In Turkey, academics asking for peace are accused of terrorism
Judith Butler and Başak Ertür, The Guardian, 12/11
Last week the trials began in Istanbul of those who signed the Academics for Peace petition in January 2016. A total of 148 trials are scheduled through to May 2018, with new trials expected to be announced in the near future. Read more.
Iran: Imprisoned Foreign Student Threatened
Human Rights Watch, 12/09
The Iranian authorities’ transfer of an imprisoned US doctoral student within Tehran’s Evin prison heightens fear for his safety, Human Rights Watch said today. Read more.
84-year-old Sulak Sivaraksa faces lese-majeste charges
Asian Tribune, 12/08
Bangkok Military Court on Thursday delayed a decision on whether to prosecute a prominent historian and social critic 84-year-old Sulak Sivaraksa who suggested that a famed duel on elephant-back won by a Thai king against a Burmese prince 500 years ago may not actually have happened. Read more.
Chronicler of Islamic State ‘killing machine’ goes public
Lori Hinnant and Maggie Michael, Associated Press, 12/08
The historian carried secrets too heavy for one man to bear. He packed his bag with his most treasured possessions before going to bed: the 1 terabyte hard drive with his evidence against the Islamic State group, an orange notebook half-filled with notes on Ottoman history, and, a keepsake, the first book from Amazon delivered to Mosul. Read more.
Report on the ‘Assault on Science’
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 12/08
The American Association of University Professors on Thursday released a report on National Security, the Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom, detailing what the association describes as “troubling threats to academic freedom in the physical and natural sciences that have been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s hostility to science.” Read more.
Academic freedom under assault in Turkey’s courts
Baris Altintas, Index on Censorship, 12/07
A group of court reporters scurried along the halls of Istanbul’s massive Çağlayan Courthouse on the morning of 7 December, taking pictures of the tables showing the trial schedules of several high criminal courts to share them with other reporters make sure that none of the sessions of the day go unreported. Read more.
Corruption, Censorship & Violence: Business Academics Flee Turkey And Azerbaijan
Marco De Novellis, Business Because, 12/07
In early 2016, a group of academics from Turkey published an open letter to the government, condemning military action in the country’s Kurdish region. The group, calling themselves ‘Academics for Peace’, were denounced as terrorist-sympathizers. Read more.
EU takes Hungary to ECJ over crackdown ‘aimed at George Soros’
Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian, 12/07
The EU is taking Hungary to the European court of justice (ECJ) over Viktor Orbán’s crackdown on political freedoms and a leading university, as Brussels steps up its fight to protect democratic values in central Europe. Read more.
Chinese power ‘may lead to global academic censorship crisis’
Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 12/07
China’s “new era” of increased global power poses a threat to academic freedom across the world and could result in global university leaders seeking to appease the country’s Communist Party, experts have warned. Read more.
Xiyue Wang used as “pawn” by Iran in negotiations with United States
Sarah Warman Hirschfield, The Daily Princetonian, 12/06
Over the course of this month, the Iranian government has aired videos of two foreign prisoners-Xiyue Wang GS, sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage while conducting research, and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British charity worker sentenced to five years for endangering national security-in an effort to pressure the U.S. and Great Britain to withhold sanctions and pay back debt, respectively. Read more.
Thailand: Prominent Scholar Faces 15-Year Term
Human Rights Watch, 12/06
Thailand’s military prosecutor should drop the case against a leading scholar for “insulting the monarchy” for his analysis of a 16th-century battle, Human Rights Watch said today. Read more.
What Happens When Sex Harassment Disrupts Victims’ Academic Careers
Nell Gluckman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/06
Seo-Young Chu used to be known as Jennie. She was a young Ph.D. student studying early American literature and culture at Stanford University, with Jay Fliegelman, an influential scholar and teacher both on the campus and in the field. Read more.
Cairo University sacks five academics over Islamist link
Ashraf Khaled, University World News, 12/05
Egypt’s main state-run institution Cairo University has expelled five lecturers for having links with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the latest in a clampdown on Islamist academics in the Arab country. Read more.
American student Xiyue Wang’s wife begs Trump to speak with Iran
Shanshan Dong and Alexander Smith, NBC News, 11/28
The wife of an American graduate student who is behind bars in Iran pleaded with the Trump administration on Tuesday to do more to secure his release. Read more.
Court Rules Continuation of Arrest of Nuriye Gülmen
Fifth trial of arrested academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça, who are on the 264th day of their hunger strike, and teacher Acun Karadağ is being held today (November 27). Read more.
Vera Shlakman, Professor Fired During Red Scare, Dies at 108
Sam Roberts, New York Times, 11/27
Vera Shlakman, an influential economics professor who was fired by Queens College after she refused to tell Senate investigators whether she had ever been a card-carrying Communist — a punishment that brought an apology three decades later — died on Nov. 5 at her home in Manhattan. She was 108. Read more.
UTC students work on advocacy in real life by helping scholars at risk
Barry Courter, Times Free Press, 11/27
For some of the students in Dr. Jessica Auchter’s “Scholars and Journalists at Risk” Honors College class at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the course was little more than a way to fulfill a credit need and get them closer to graduating. Read more.
Nobel laureates demand release of Iranian scholar facing death sentence
Michele Catanzaro, Nature, 11/24
Some 75 Nobel prizewinners have called on the Iranian government to release Ahmadreza Djalali, a researcher in disaster medicine who was sentenced to death last month. Read more.
Robert Mugabe has gone, but our struggle goes on
Makomborero Haruzivishe, University World News, 11/24
As we celebrate the resignation of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe I would like to honour students around the country who have, against all odds, defied danger and spoken truth to power despite the vicious visible and invisible risks posed by the dictatorship. Read more.
The Dutch Learn to Welcome Refugee Students
Gordon Darroch, Al-Fanar Media, 11/22
When Wassim Mahmoud needs help navigating student life in Amsterdam, he turns to Rosa Rietkerk, a Dutch political-science student. Read more.
Middle East Tensions, U.S. Classrooms
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 11/21
At the Middle East Studies Association’s annual meeting, several panels focused on the tensions scholars of the region are navigating in the classroom in these intensely polarized times, with perhaps few issues as contentious as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read more.
Beijing vies for greater control of foreign universities in China
Emily Feng, Financial Times, 11/19
The Chinese Communist party has ordered foreign-funded universities to install party units and grant decision-making powers to a party official, reversing an earlier promise to guarantee academic freedom as President Xi Jinping strengthens political control over all levels of education. Read more.
Free speech ‘adopted’ by hostile right to ‘discredit universities’
John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 11/18
The issue of free speech on campus “has been adopted by the alt-right” as a “narrative to discredit universities”, according to the University of California, Berkeley chancellor. Read more.
University of Oslo grants Human Rights Award to purge-victim academic
Turkey Purge, 11/15
The University of Oslo (UIO) has granted the 2017 Human Rights Award to Turkish academic and activist Professor İştar Gözaydın for her efforts towards freedoms and human rights in Turkey. Read more.
Students advocate for imprisoned scholars in Iran
Grace Stafford, University Echo, 11/15
A seminar in the Honors College is discussing and advocating for the rights of scholars and journalists at risk in countries with weak human rights policies including those of freedom of speech and expression with a focus on two scholars imprisoned in Iran. Read more.
Chinese Nationalism Jostles With Academic Freedom in Australia
Xiuzhong Xu, New York Times, 11/15
It was a routine quiz in a university business class in Australia, but the answer to one of the questions was a surprise: Chinese officials are truthful only when careless or drunk. Read more.
Professors are losing their freedom of expression
Howard Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky, Washington Post, 11/15
With so much attention focused on whether controversial speakers such as Milo Yiannapoulos or Richard Spencer should be allowed to appear on campus, an even more basic issue has been obscured: universities punishing faculty who, outside of professional settings, express views that are considered controversial or even offensive. Read more.
Army takeover disrupts university lectures, examinations
Kudzai Mashininga, University World News, 11/15
The University of Zimbabwe deferred examinations scheduled for Wednesday, and at least two other universities advised students to stay at home, according to news reports and local sources. This comes as the military has staged what appears to be a coup to end President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule. Read more.
How to win the war on free speech
Debra Soh, The Globe and Mail, 11/14
The battle in favour of academic freedom has been a tumultuous one. In August, an event at Ryerson University, titled “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses,” was shut down after far-left group No Fascist T.O. harassed university administration. Read more.
University in China’s Guizhou Cancels Outspoken Economics Professor’s Classes
Radio Free Asia, 11/14
Authorities in the southwestern Chinese region of Guangxi have suspended a university professor over “politically sensitive” writings, amid an ongoing crackdown on academic freedom by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Read more.
Judith Butler on Being Attacked in Brazil
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 11/13
Judith Butler is no stranger to controversy. Her books and speeches about philosophy, literature and gender have won her both critics and fans. In philosophy and gender studies, she is among the leading academics in the United States today. Read more.
NYU Department Cuts Ties With Abu Dhabi Campus
Eric J. Lyman, Al-Fanar Media, 11/12
The faculty of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute has voted to suspend the journalism school’s relationship with the university’s Abu Dhabi campus after two tenured professors who had been scheduled to teach there this year were denied entry into the United Arab Emirates. Read more.
Cambridge slammed for ‘censoring’ Palestine BDS event
Shafik Mandhai, Al Jazeera, 11/11
The University of Cambridge is facing accusations of censorship after it allegedly threatened to ban a meeting about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement unless the Palestinian academic chairing it was removed and replaced with its own choice. Read more.
Flemish Parliament backs resolution on Iranian academic condemned to death
An Iranian professor who works at the Flemish Free University of Brussels, the VUB. Prof Ahmadreza Djalali has been condemned to death on charges of collaboration with an enemy country. All five main Flemish political parties tabled the resolution in the Flemish and in the federal parliaments. The hope is that their actions will convince the Iranian authorities not to carry out the death sentence. Read more.
Turkish Activist Saçılık Says Hunger Striker Nuriye Gülmen Is Now 37 Kg And At The Point Of No Return
Stockholm Center for Freedom, 11/09
Veli Saçılık, a Turkish leftist protester and a friend of Turkish educators Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who started a hunger strike in order to protest their dismissal under state of emergency decree-laws issued after a failed coup in Turkey last year, stated that Gülmen is just 37 kg. Read more.
How to Define Prejudice
Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Inside Higher Ed, 11/08
College campuses nationwide have seen an escalating number of anti-Semitic incidents over the past several years, but academics, experts and politicians remain divided on how to combat them. Read more.
HKUST ‘pressures’ Umbrella movie organiser to drop democracy figures from screening panel
Karen Cheung, Hong Kong Free Press, 11/08
Four pro-democracy figures have had their invitations to speak at a screening of Raise the Umbrellas withdrawn by the venue hosts. The move came following pressure from the University of Science and Technology (HKUST), according to the director of the documentary about the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests. Read more.
N.Y.U. Journalism Faculty Boycotts Abu Dhabi Campus
Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, 11/07
Journalism professors at New York University are refusing to teach at the school’s Abu Dhabi campus, after officials in the United Arab Emirates denied a faculty member a visa to teach there. Read more.
A prestigious research publisher gives in to China’s censorship
Washington Post, 11/05
SPRINGER NATURE publishes books and prestigious journals, including Nature and Scientific American, and portrays itself as a champion of open access to reports of scientific research. Read more.
South Korean Professor Fined for Book About ‘Comfort Women,’ Proving the Truth is Still Dangerous
David Josef Volodzko, South China Morning Post, 11/05
A Seoul appeal court has slapped a heavy fine on an academic for publishing politically incorrect research, suggesting that despite the success of the candlelight protests that removed Park Geun-hye from the presidency, South Korea still has a long way to go when it comes to free speech and democracy. Read more.
I’m a lecturer, and I don’t feel I can speak freely any more
The Guardian, 11/03
Last week, a student of mine asked for my political views. They wanted to know what I thought about the decision by University College Dublin students’ union decision to impeach their president, after she withdrew information about abortion services from a university magazine, spawning a national debate on freedom of speech. Read more.
Egypt seeks to attract international branch campuses
Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 11/03
The Egyptian government has proposed a new law that would make it easier for foreign universities to establish international branch campuses in the country. Read more.
Koch Institute to Conservatives: Don’t Be Snowflakes
Sarah Ruger, Inside Higher Ed, 11/02
What exactly is a “snowflake”? It has become a catchphrase in the campus free speech debates, targeted mostly at students. Read more.
Ethiopia supreme court reverses bail of Oromo leader Bekele Gerba
Africa News, 11/01
Ethiopia’s Supreme Court has backtracked on an earlier decision to grant bail to Bekele Gerba, a leading opposition chief. This follows an appeal by state prosecutors even before he was released from detention. Read more.
Springer Nature blocks access to certain articles in China
Springer Nature, which publishes science magazines Nature and Scientific American, said on Wednesday it had pulled access to a small number of articles in China to comply with regulations, adding that it viewed the move as regrettable but necessary. Read more.
Eight arrested in protests as Milo Yiannopoulos speaks at Cal State Fullerton
Alene Tchekmedyian, Makeda Easter and Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 11/01
At least eight people were detained at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night during small but tense protests as conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos spoke, blasting what he called the silencing of conservative views on college campuses. Read more.
Oxford academic claims Trump protest led to ‘excommunication’
Matthew Weaver, The Guardian, 10/31
The University of Oxford is to look into claims that it tried to “excommunicate” a leading politics academic after he resigned over a key patron’s support for Donald Trump’s inauguration. Read more.
Turkey plans charges against Turkish peace academics in Germany
Chase Winter, Deutsche Welle, 10/30
Turkish prosecutors are preparing to open criminal procedures against nearly one hundred academics and intellectuals living Germany, German media NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Sunday. Read more.
The Pernicious Silencing of the Adjunct Faculty
Eva Swidler, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/30
The issues of justice surrounding adjunct employment in higher education affect not only adjuncts themselves but also other contingent faculty members who are on short-term contracts with low pay and minimal long-term prospects. Read more.
Turkey’s anti-intellectual crusade is pure Orwell
Umut Özkırımli, Times Higher Education, 10/28
It was one of those awkward moments. “In Animal Farm”, said Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his address to the parliamentary group of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) earlier this month, “George Orwell criticises an order where ‘some are more equal than others’, like the [international] order which restricts United Nations Security Council membership to five countries. Very meaningful indeed.” Read more.
South Korean academic convicted of defaming ‘comfort women’
South China Morning Post, 10/27
A South Korean professor who challenged the consensus view of Japan’s wartime sex slaves was convicted of defaming the victims on Friday, after a Seoul appeal court overturned an earlier acquittal. Read more.
Iranian scholar sentenced to death on spying charge
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 10/27
A judge in Tehran has ordered the death penalty for Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, a Stockholm-based Iranian academic convicted on charges of spying for Israel after being forced to sign a confession. He had been invited to Iran to teach classes in medical responses to disaster emergencies. Read more.
QAU protest and the state’s contempt towards students
Ammar Rashid, Daily Times, 10/25
The police brutality against students at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) on Monday was a vivid illustration of Pakistani authorities’ approach to students – one reeking of paternalism and criminalisation. Read more.
US university leaders who shut out speakers ‘inflaming problem’
John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 10/25
US university presidents who bar “controversial” speakers from campus are “inflaming the problem”, according to the leader of an institution that hosted alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Read more.
Occupy leaders Joshua Wong and Nathan Law freed on bail and raring to continue democracy fight
Jasmine Siu, South China Morning Post, 10/24
Jailed Occupy protest leaders Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung presented a picture of defiance after they were released on bail by Hong Kong’s chief justice on Tuesday, vowing to continue their fight for greater democracy. Read more.
Universities deplore ‘McCarthyism’ as MP demands list of tutors lecturing on Brexit
Anna Fazackerley, The Guardian, 10/24
Academics are accusing a Tory MP and government whip of “McCarthyite” behaviour, after he wrote to all universities asking them to declare what they are teaching their students about Brexit and to provide a list of teachers’ names. Read more.
Letter from captive academic renews release efforts
Tunde Fatunde, University World News, 10/24
A handwritten letter penned by a university lecturer captured with two colleagues by Boko Haram earlier this year, which was delivered to the University of Maiduguri, has spurred renewed efforts by the Nigerian authorities to secure their release. Read more.
Iranian scholar sentenced to death
Michele Catanzaro, Nature, 10/23
A judge in Tehran has ordered the death penalty for Iranian researcher Ahmadreza Djalali, according to his wife and diplomatic sources in Italy. Read more.
Russian-Linked Account That Targeted Professor Also Posted About Berkeley and DeVos
Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/23
This month Drexel University placed George Ciccariello-Maher, a political-science professor with a history of controversial tweets, on leave after he faced increasing threats based on the posts. Read more.
Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies Chair Kardaş Detained
Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) Chair Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şaban Kardaş was detained on Saturday (October 21). According to the reports covered by the media, Kardaş was detained from his home in Turkey’s capital Ankara. He was then taken to İstanbul Security Directorate Anti-Terror Bureau. Read more.
Lessons From Spencer’s Florida Speech
Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Inside Higher Ed, 10/23
In August, white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia, winding around campus wielding torches and chanting Nazi refrains. Read more.
Turkish Government’s Persecution Of Critical Academics Goes On Full Gear
Stockholm Center for Freedom, 10/20
Turkish government’s persecution of critical academics has been continuing in Turkey as part of post-coup with hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. Read more.
Feeding a Dangerous Fiction
Christopher Newfield, Inside Higher Ed, 10/19
Drexel University has followed Trinity College in Connecticut and others down the dead end of suspending a tenured faculty member — this time, George Ciccariello-Maher — for extramural speech. Read more.
Efforts to save leading Hungarian university hit hurdle
Alison Abbott, Nature, 10/18
The threatened Central European University (CEU) in Budapest has been dealt a blow in its efforts to avert possible closure in Hungary. Read more.
Thought under threat: Situation of academic freedom and university autonomy in Venezuela
Coalición de Cátedras y Centros Universitarios de Derechos Humanos, 10/17
Venezuelan universities are experiencing a progressive deterioration of their autonomy and the academic freedom of their members, in direct violation of the right to education that also affects other rights such as the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, with serious consequences and human costs in terms of the right to life, physical integrity, personal liberty and due process. Read more.
China: zero tolerance for academic freedom
The Conversation, 10/17
Universities will be closely scrutinised, professors will be evaluated and the Party will punish those lacking ideological firmness. Such is the program released by Xi Jinping’s government to coincide with the Communist Party congress, where Xi is seeking to reinforce his authority as a world leader. Read more.
The unremitting hope of Pai
“During the past three years, my despair about my country has never reached the depth it did when I learned of the judgment in the case of Pai Dao Din,” said Nidhi Eoseewong. Read more.
Suppression of academic freedom a ‘global crisis’
Maria Burke, Chemistry World, 10/16
Attacks on academics and students are occurring with such alarming frequency and in so many places around the world that it is now a ‘global crisis’, according to a new report by the US charity Scholars at Risk (SAR). Read more.
Sulak lese majeste case so absurd it hurts
Veera Prateepchaikul, Bangkok Post, 10/16
Well-known academic and social critic Sulak Sivaraksa is no stranger to lese majeste charges. He has been charged with lese majeste five times since 1985, but escaped imprisonment for the first four cases in which he was never convicted — either the case was withdrawn or dropped by the prosecutor. Read more.
Studying Medicine in Time of War
Al-Fanar Media, 10/15
It was September 2011 when Hasan Raad was admitted to the medical school at Al-Baath University in Homs, Syria. The city was at the center of the uprising that led to Syria’s continuing civil war, and conditions there were already starting to deteriorate, as violence flared between government troops and armed opponents. Read more.
Closure of the European University at St Petersburg: a dead cert?
Dmitry Dubrovsky, Open Democracy, 10/14
Recent events around the European University at St Petersburg – the refusal to grant an education license (accompanied by an openly mocking comment by the deputy head of Russia’s education watchdog) as well as the loss of the building that the university has occupied since opening its doors – tells us something that the international academic community has already long warned of: the attack on the European University, a private and internationally-backed postgraduate school with an international reputation, is not a conflict over property ownership. Read more.
Professor’s ‘bring back colonialism’ call sparks fury and academic freedom debate
Adam Lusher, The Independent, 10/12
A senior academic has provoked storms of protest by calling for the return of colonialism – first from critics of his ideas, then from free speech advocates after his article was withdrawn due to threats of violence against the journal editor who published it. Read more.
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 10/11
As conflicts over campus speech have accelerated in recent months, most of the incidents have occurred outside the classroom. But a recent incident at Columbia University breached that wall. Read more.
European University at St Petersburg faces research-only future
Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 10/11
Russia’s “European” university is contemplating a future as a research-only institution after the latest twist in a long-running battle with the country’s authorities saw its application for a new teaching licence rejected. Read more.
Wisconsin University Officials Approve Policy Punishing Students for Protesting Campus Speakers
Beatrice Dupuy, Newsweek, 10/10
Wisconsin students who protest speakers on university campuses will now be punished, university officials decided last week in a move that is being praised by conservatives after several right-wing personalities had their scheduled speeches shut down by students on campuses around the nation. Read more.
Houthi militia terminate dozens of academics from Sanaa University
Islam Saif, Al Arabiya, 10/10
Houthi militias are rapidly recruiting new staff and officials at Sanaa University and appointing academic leaders loyal to it, while terminating dozens of academics, employees and assistants as part of its plan to take full control over the educational institutions in Yemen. Read more.
In China, Scholars Are Being Punished Amid Growing Squeeze On Public Expression
Anthony Kuhn, NPR, 10/10
When students returned to Beijing Normal University for classes last month, there was a notable absence in the classical Chinese class taught by Shi Jiepeng: Shi himself. Read more.
Turkey Now Targeting Academic Freedom in Europe
Uzay Bulut, PJ Media, 10/09
Turkey’s targeting of dissident academics seems to have crossed the borders of the country. Academic freedom in Europe and in the U.S. is being stymied by the Turkish government and nationalist groups. Read more.
Americans Jailed After Failed Coup in Turkey Are Hostages to Politics
Carlotta Gall, New York Times, 10/07
One is a NASA scientist who was vacationing with relatives in Turkey. Another is a Christian missionary who has lived in Turkey for 23 years. Others include a visiting chemistry professor from Pennsylvania and his brother, a real estate agent. Read more.
Muslim students studying abroad detained, repatriated
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 10/05*
Human rights groups are expressing alarm over the fate of hundreds of Chinese students abroad belonging to the Uyghur ethnic minority and other Chinese Muslim students who have fled into hiding, disappeared or been repatriated to China where they have been sent to re-education camps. Read more.
Academics Signing Peace Declaration Sued for ‘Terrorist Propaganda’
An indictment has been issued for academics from İstanbul, Galatasaray, Boğaziçi, Mimar Sinan, Nişantaşı and Yeni Yüzyıl Universities who have signed the peace declaration “We will not be a party to this crime”. Read more.
Australia’s universities are failing to protect free speech
Matthew Lesh, ABC News, 10/05
Academic freedom is increasingly under threat on Australian campuses, and widespread speech codes leave universities unprepared to combat the danger. Read more.
Elite Hungarian university may be saved
Alison Abbott, Nature, 10/04
The prestigious Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, seems to have found a way around a threat to close it down. The university had been affected by a law change that is widely thought to be politically motivated. Read more.
A White Supremacist TA?
Nick Roll, Inside Higher Ed, 10/04
Virginia Tech is facing demands that it fire a graduate student teaching assistant who is accused of being a white supremacist, although officials are keeping mum while some students start to lose patience. Read more.
Is global academic freedom a right?
Haley West, The Medium, 10/02
Professor Homa Hoodfar of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University spent 112 days in prison in Tehran, Iran. The Iranian-Canadian anthropology professor was arrested while on a personal and research visit to Iran, according to her conversation with CBC News published on the day of her release, September 26, 2016. Read more.
“They are not welcome”.. Report on the Uyghur crisis in Egypt
Mohamed Mostafa and Mohamed Nagi, Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, 10/01
In early July, Egyptian security forces arrested dozens of Uyghur individuals inside Egypt, most of them Azhar students. Initial estimates published by some media channels indicate that 70 of the Uyghur were arrested from Nasr City and 20 were arrested at Borg El Arab airport in Alexandria. Read more.
Why Hong Kong has a culture of protest
Divya Gopalan, Al Jazeera, 10/01
Hundreds of people with yellow umbrellas surrounded government headquarters on Thursday to mark the third anniversary of the event that set off Hong Kong’s biggest pro-democracy protests. Read more.
Higher education under ‘near-constant attack’ – SAR
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 09/30
State and university authorities in Turkey are continuing to take sweeping and targeted measures – including investigations, detentions, prosecutions, firings and travel restrictions against academics – that pose an “unprecedented threat” to the higher education sector, according to Scholars at Risk or SAR. Read more.
Science under duress in Turkey
Simon Jäggi, Swissinfo, 09/29
The tense situation in Turkey is making it increasingly difficult to conduct research there. Foreign scientists working in Turkey are also aware of this, and they describe diminishing freedoms and a vague sense of fear. Read more.
Student protests blocked by tear gas and bullets
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 09/27
Students are increasingly on the front lines of the political battle over economic and social conditions in Venezuela, both on campus and throughout the country. Read more.
Threats to Universities Worldwide
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 09/26
The new edition of Scholars at Risk’s annual “Free to Think” report analyzes more than 250 reported attacks on higher education institutions, their students or their employees in 35 countries in the past year. Read more.
Academic Freedom Report Highlights Repression in Turkey
Edward Fox, Al-Fanar Media, 09/26
A new report on threats to academic freedom around the world in the past year records more attacks on higher education in Turkey than in any other country covered, as the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to retaliate against alleged supporters of an attempted coup in July 2016. Read more.
Academics face ‘continuing global crisis’ of attacks
Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 09/26
Scholars and students around the world face a “continuing global crisis of attacks” driven by an “anti-democratic fear of universities” as bastions of free thought, according to an international network that promotes academic freedom. Read more.
Sessions’ Justice Dept. Will Weigh In on Free-Speech Cases. What Should Campuses Expect?
Adam Harris, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 09/26
More than a hundred people gathered on the steps in front of the Georgetown Law Center here on Tuesday in anticipation of an appearance by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Inside, Mr. Sessions would be discussing one of today’s most pressing topics on college campuses: free speech. Read more.
N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi: A Sectarian Bargain
Mohamad Bazzi, New York Times, 09/26
In October 2007, New York University announced an ambitious plan to open a “portal” campus in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Read more.
With Mass Arrests, Saudi Arabia Silences Independent Voices
Ursula Lindsey, Al-Fanar Media, 09/25
As many as 30 preachers, religious scholars and reform-minded intellectuals were detained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earlier this month. Read more.
News About Uighur Scholar Ilham Tohti on the Third Anniversary of His Sentencing: No News
China Change, 09/22
September 23, 2017, marks the 3rd anniversary of the Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti’s sentencing to life in prison for peacefully speaking out for the economic, cultural, political and religious rights of the 10 million Uighur people inhabiting the northwestern region known as Xinjiang. Read more.
China Cuts Funding for Visiting Scholars after Dalai Lama Visit
Rohan Grover, The Triton, 09/22
China will no longer fund travel for visiting scholars at UC San Diego, according to a memo apparently written by government officials circulated among Chinese academics. Read more.
Government decrees dismiss 5,717 academics to date
Turkey Purge, 09/21
Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, 5,717 academics at 117 universities were dismissed from their jobs due to government decrees issued under a state of emergency, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday. Read more.
Dozens charged over Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ killing at university
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 09/20
Almost 60 people have been indicted for the murder of a Pakistani university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy. Read more.
Is China Punishing a U.S. University for Hosting the Dalai Lama?
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 09/20
Is the Chinese government punishing the University of California, San Diego, for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker? Read more.
Appeal Hearing Postponed for Bahraini Prisoner of Conscience Khalil al-Halwachi
Americans for Democracy in Bahrain, 09/19
On 18 September 2017, a Bahraini court postponed yet another hearing for professor and engineer Khalil al-Halwachi. Al-Halwachi, a former opposition activist, is currently appealing a ten-year sentence for allegedly possessing a weapon, which he maintains was falsely planted by security forces. Read more.
Turkey’s Future Is Moving Backward
Elif Shafak, New York Times, 09/19
Anyone who has visited the city center in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, would have noticed a bronze sculpture of a young woman reading a book. Designed by the Turkish artist Metin Yurdanur, the sculpture is known as the Human Rights Monument, and the woman is reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read more.
A Free-Speech Divide
Beth McMurtrie, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 09/17
When it comes to technology and pop culture, the gulf between professors and students can seem enormous. But is there also a generational divide on free speech? Read more.
Wife of Princeton scholar jailed in Iran calls on U.S. to do more to free him
Joseph Ax and Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters, 09/16
When Xiyue Wang sleeps in his cell in Iran’s Evin Prison, he sometimes dreams he is back at Princeton University, working in the school’s main library on his dissertation comparing governance systems in Central Asia. Read more.
Anne Frank honours given to JRS and Scholars at Risk
University World News, 09/15
Seventy years ago, The Diary of Anne Frank introduced the world to an unforgettable voice. Through her diary, Anne Frank illustrated how education engaged and sustained her while she lived in hiding as a refugee in the Netherlands during World War II. Read more.
How the Opposition Is Silenced in Hong Kong and Thailand
Gina Tam and Tyrell Haberkorn, Foreign Affairs, 09/15
On August 17, three Hong Kong students, leaders of the Umbrella Movement in 2014, were sentenced for daring to call for the protection of democratic process. Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, and Nathan Law received prison terms of eight, ten, and eight months, respectively, from the Hong Kong Court of Appeals. Read more.
Support Ismail Serageldin
Next week, an appeals court in Egypt will consider the case of Ismail Serageldin — the retired founding director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, or Alexandria Library — who has been convicted of negligent management of the library and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail. Read more.
Is Free Speech Really Challenged on Campus?
Julian E. Zelizer and Morton Keller, The Atlantic, 09/15
Two historians debate the role of universities in fostering a commitment to the open exchange of ideas. Read more.
Chinese University head vows removal of pro-independence slogans if student union fails to act
Kris Cheng, Hong Kong Free Press, 09/15
The head of the Chinese University of Hong Kong has said the school will remove pro-independence slogans from message boards if its student union fails to act. Read more.
Princeton Students to Hold Vigil for Classmate Imprisoned by Iran
Kate King, Wall Street Journal, 09/14
Princeton University students will hold a vigil Friday for a classmate who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year and who recently lost his appeal of a 10-year sentence on espionage charges. Read more.
European University in Russia Faces Closure
Éanna Kelly, Science|Business, 09/14
The European University in St Petersburg has been a target of lawmakers for over a decade, in what critics claim is a complicated plot to stifle independent points of view, take ownership of a historic building, and stamp out western influences. Read more.
What Lies Ahead in the Campus-Speech Wars?
Julia Schmalz, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 09/13
How can universities meet the challenges of promoting free expression while keeping their campuses secure? Experts discuss the challenges they see on the horizon, and what colleges can do about them. Read more.
New Guidance for Trustees on Free Speech Issues
Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed, 09/13
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has issued a new white paper with guidelines to help leaders with the difficult issues of free speech and expression. Read more.
Turkey detains lawyers of hunger-striking teachers ahead of trial
Turkey issued detention warrants for the lawyers of two hunger-striking teachers on Tuesday, days before they are due to appear in court, lawyers representing the academics said. Read more.
A Regional Survey: How Arab Countries Regulate Quality in Higher Education
Rasha Faek, Al-Fanar Media, 09/12
Setting up a new university in an Arab country is a complex, elaborate affair subject to detailed government regulation, according to the results of a survey conducted by Al-Fanar Media, but government follow-up is rare. Read more.
Occupation of Hum 110
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 09/11
Lectures for one of Reed College’s signature learning experiences, a humanities course on the ancient Mediterranean, were canceled after protesters tried to interrupt the class to protest perceived Eurocentrism. What’s the future for courses grounded in ancient—largely Western—texts? Read more.
Free Speech Is Not Enough
Robert Quinn, Diversity & Democracy, Spring/Summer 2017
Scholars at Risk Executive Director Robert Quinn calls for more speech on university campuses, but also more nuance and inclusivity. Read more.
For Students Imperiled by Trump’s DACA Rollback, a Scramble for Answers
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 09/06
Jose Guillermo Rivas was immersed in the first day of his internship on Tuesday when news broke that could crush his dream of becoming a high-school guidance counselor. Read more.
Staring down censorship
Sonika Gupta, The Hindu, 09/06
Last month, the China Quarterly (CQ), the most reputed academic journal of China studies in the world, published by the Cambridge University Press (CUP), was asked by the Chinese government to block hundreds of articles in China. Read more.
Charles Murray Event Draws Protest
Brandon J. Dixon and Anna Kuritzkes, The Harvard Crimson, 09/06
Amid peaceful protest and a heavy security presence, controversial sociologist Charles A. Murray ’65 discussed his scholarship and President Donald Trump’s election at an event intended to “test” the boundaries of free speech on campus. Read more.
Libya’s Civil Disorder Has Closed 8 Universities
Khaoula Sliti, Al-Fanar Media, 09/05
The civil disorder that has prevailed in much of Libya since the overthrow of the regime of Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi has spread to the country’s campuses, with attacks on professors causing many to emigrate rather than live in the midst of conflict. Read more.
Why Australian universities have upset Chinese students
Gwyneth Ho, BBC News, 09/05
In four prominent cases in recent months, Chinese students at Australian universities have complained about teaching materials being incorrect or insulting to China. Read more.
Private University in North Korea Reopens Despite Travel Ban
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, 09/04
The only foreign-funded private university in North Korea started a new semester on Monday, but without its usual American professors because of Washington’s ban on travel to the country, university officials said. Read more.
When does ‘free speech’ become ‘offensive speech’?
Peter Scott, University World News, 09/03
Threats to free speech and academic freedom are legion – from authoritarian regimes in China, Hungary, Russia and Turkey, and Middle East states beleaguered by religious fundamentalism, to right-wing populists who believe their cultures and communities are under attack (and often see universities as bastions of liberalism and cosmopolitanism). Read more.
Academics baffled over ‘political’ charges in Chiang Mai
The Nation, 09/01
Academics accused of violating the military government’s ban on political gatherings have again insisted there was nothing political about their July international conference at Chiang Mai University. Read more.
Radiology professor, extradited from Bahrain, gets tortured in Turkish jail: lawyer
Turkey Purge, 09/01
In yet another sign of the abuse of the Interpol system by Turkish government, Harvard-educated Turkish professor was extradited to Turkey to endure torture and ill-treatment in notorious Turkish prison despite he was under the United Nations (UN) protection in Bahrain. Read more.
Anne Frank Awards highlight role of education for refugees
Embassy of the Netherlands, 08/31
Seventy years ago, “The Diary of Anne Frank” introduced the world to an unforgettable voice. Through her diary, Anne Frank illustrated how education engaged and sustained her while she lived in hiding as a refugee in the Netherlands during World War II. Read more.
Economics Faculty War
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 08/31
The Charles Koch Foundation’s annual giving to higher education has jumped in recent years — from $12.7 million in 2012 to $44 million in 2015 — and faculty concerns about the libertarian group’s campus influence have grown proportionately. Read more.
Google-funded thinktank fired scholar over criticism of tech firm
Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, 08/30
An influential Washington thinktank that has received more than $21m in funding from Google and its chairman Eric Schmidt dropped a team of scholars after its leader wrote an article praising the European Union’s decision to fine the tech giant. Read more.
Outgoing HKU vice-chancellor rejects calls to sack Occupy leader and legal scholar Benny Tai
Ng Kang-Chung, South China Morning Post, 08/30
The departing vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong on Wednesday rejected calls to oust Benny Tai Yiu-ting, the controversial legal scholar and co-founder of the 2014 Occupy protests. Read more.
Closure of US coal study marks an alarming precedent
When the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) speaks, the government usually listens. Last year, US government agencies spent US$216 million to commission NASEM expertise on issues from the scientific workforce to military implications of synthetic biology. Read more.
China tightens ideological control on campus
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 08/30
Several of China’s top universities are establishing units to monitor the politics of their lecturers after they were criticised for failing to promote Communist Party ideology. Read more.
Charges against academics harm nation
Kamnuan Silpa, Bangkok Post, 08/29
The heavy-handed treatment of authorities against a well-respected scholar and a group of participants of a conference in Chiang Mai will be a setback for the military regime, and the country. Read more.
A Dartmouth antifa expert was disavowed by his college president for ‘supporting violent protest,’ angering many faculty
Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, 08/29
Dartmouth College lecturer Mark Bray has gone from a relatively unknown academic to a sought-after news commentator in the short time since white supremacists clashed with counterprotesters at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Read more.
Six Months After Ramjas College Violence, Things Are Only Getting Worse
Abinash Dash Choudhury, The Wire, 08/26
It has been five months since the the English Department of Ramjas College, Delhi University, and Wordcraft – the college’s literary society – held a seminar titled ‘Cultures of Protest: A Seminar Exploring Representations of Dissent’, for which I was one of the organising committee members. Read more.
Scholars at Home and Abroad Call for Withdrawal of Protest Charges Against Five Thai Academics
Mong Palatino, Global Voices, 08/24
Hundreds of scholars and researchers around the world have signed an open letter addressed to the government of Thailand appealing for the withdrawal of charges against five local academics accused of violating the ban on political assemblies. Read more.
Charlottesville May Put The Brakes On Campus Free Speech Laws
Sophie Quinton, Huffington Post, 08/24
The sight of white supremacists marching through the heart of the University of Virginia, carrying flaming Tiki torches and shouting “Jews will not replace us!” — followed by the killing of a counterprotester at a rally in downtown Charlottesville the next day — may put the brakes on state efforts to strengthen campus free speech protections. Read more.
‘A chilling effect’: Academics accuse University of Melbourne of shutting down speech
Henrietta Cook, The Age, 08/24
Academics have accused the prestigious University of Melbourne of trying to stifle free speech. Staff who make controversial or unwelcome public comments could be dismissed without notice under a proposed new workplace agreement, the National Tertiary Education Union has warned. Read more.
As by Fire – The end of the South African university
Jonathan Jansen, University World News, 08/24
I wrote As by Fire: The end of the South African university primarily to search for the deep, underlying causes that explained the promising but also devastating student protests of 2015-16 on many of the leading university campuses in the country. Read more.
The state of higher education in Hungary
David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 08/24
In March this year, scholars across the world were alerted to the fact that something was seriously wrong in Hungary. The country’s top-ranked institution, the Central European University, sounded the alarm that new government legislation would, in effect, force it to shut down. Read more.
At UVa, in the Wake of a Nightmare, a Reckoning Begins
Nell Gluckman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 08/23
Last Friday, while the University of Virginia’s orientation for first-year students was underway, three students met in a common area at the edge of campus. They were putting the finishing touches on a series of events intended to contrast sharply with the official introduction to the university: demonstrations, panel discussions, and talks by activists. Read more.
After Criticism, Publisher Reverses Decision to Bow to China’s Censors
Chris Buckley, New York Times, 08/21
One of the world’s leading academic publishers, Cambridge University Press, on Monday abruptly reversed its decision to bow to censorship of a leading journal on contemporary China, after its agreement to remove offending papers from its website in China ignited condemnation from academics. Read more.
Iran Denies Appeal Of Princeton Student Accused Of Espionage, University Says
Anthony Bellano, Princeton Patch, 08/17
Iran has denied the appeal of a Princeton University graduate student who was arrested, tried and convicted for spying, the university announced on Thursday. Xiyue Wang claims he was conducting dissertation research in Iran when he was arrested. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison on espionage charges. Read more.
Hong Kong democracy campaigners jailed over anti-China protests
Tom Phillips, The Guardian, 08/17
Hong Kong’s democracy movement has suffered the latest setback in what has been a punishing year after three of its most influential young leaders were jailed for their roles in a protest at the start of a 79-day anti-government occupation known as the umbrella movement. Read more.
Secret trial: the reason why Pai Dao Din pleaded guilty
The defence lawyer of Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa has revealed that the renowned democracy activist chose to plead guilty because he was being tried in camera, with observers and the media not allowed into the courtroom. Read more.
Drop charges against peaceful conference attendees: Scholars at Risk
Scholars at Risk (SAR) is concerned over the summons of two professors, two students, and one independent intellectual in connection with their attendance at the International Conference on Thai Studies. Read more.
Forced to comply or shut down, Cambridge University Press’s China Quarterly removes 300 articles in China
China’s crackdown on academic freedom has reached the world’s oldest publishing house.
Cambridge University Press (CUP) said it has pulled over 300 articles and book reviews on its China site from the China Quarterly (CQ), one of the most prestigious journals in the China studies field, at the request of the government’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP). Read more.
North Korea’s ‘Western’ university at risk as tensions rise
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 08/16
North Korea’s only Western-run university may be forced to shut down when the US bans its citizens from travelling to the secretive state, one of its senior academics has warned. Read more.
Thai student jailed for posting BBC article critical of king on Facebook
Aukkarapon Niyomyat, The Independent, 08/15
A Thai student activist was jailed for two and a half years on Tuesday for posting a BBC article deemed offensive to Thailand’s king on Facebook, his lawyer said. Read more.
Why Was an Italian Graduate Student Tortured and Murdered in Egypt?
Declan Walsh, New York Times, 08/15
The target of the Egyptian police, that day in November 2015, was the street vendors selling socks, $2 sunglasses and fake jewelry, who clustered under the arcades of the elegant century-old buildings of Heliopolis, a Cairo suburb. Such raids were routine, but these vendors occupied an especially sensitive location. Read more.
Charlottesville Violence Sparks New Worries About Safety During Campus Protests
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 08/15
The torch-bearing white nationalists who walked across the University of Virginia’s Lawn illuminated this much: How unprepared such institutions are to deal with the threat of sudden political violence. Read more.
‘Assault On Academic Freedom’? IIMC Imposes New Rules Prohibiting Staff From Criticising Govt
Outlook India, 08/12
The Central Civil Services Conduct (CCS) rules, which prohibit criticism of the government, will now be applicable on the faculty of the IIMC, according to the media school under the ministry of information and broadcasting. Read more.
Call for release of student imprisoned for Facebook post
University World News, 08/12
Scholars at Risk has called on the global academic community to join a campaign urging the Thai authorities to release from prison and drop lèse majesté charges against law student and activist Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa for a Facebook post. Read more.
A New Boycott Battle
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 08/11
A bill in Congress that would prohibit U.S. persons or companies from participating in or supporting boycotts of Israel organized by international governmental organizations like the United Nations or the European Union has been roundly criticized by civil liberties groups as an infringement on First Amendment rights to free expression. Read more.
How we communicate is changing. So should the way we think about free speech.
Suzanne Nossel, Washington Post, 08/11
As college students wrap up summer jobs and internships, university administrations are girding for another round of campus battles over issues of free speech, protest, and the university’s role as a setting for education and intellectual exploration. Read more.
Black day: FAPUASA to protest against IIUI for ‘curtailing academic freedom’
Hamid Khan Wazir, Pakistan Today, 08/08
Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has announced to observe the black day on Wednesday (tomorrow) to protest against what they called “anti-democratic and irresponsible attitude” of administration of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) for not allowing them to hold an event in the university auditorium. Read more.
Pro-Beijing professor expelled from Singapore for being ‘agent’ of foreign power
Leslie Shaffer, CNBC, 08/07
In a vaguely worded explanation, Singapore’s government expelled a prominent Chinese-born American academic from the country. Read more.
Once Reviled, Libyan Archaeologists Take on a New Role
Edward Fox, Al-Fanar Media, 08/07
The ideology of the Libyan state under the dictator Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi discouraged the study of the country’s ancient past. Read more.
Adjuncts Under Fire?
Nick Roll, Inside Higher Ed, 08/07
Lars Maischak, a history lecturer at California State University, Fresno, has admitted that posting a controversial tweet in February — declaring “Trump must hang” — wasn’t the best idea. Read more.
U Students and Faculty Voice Concerns Over $10 Million Koch Foundation Donation
Emily Anderson, Daily Utah Chronicle, 08/07
The University of Utah will debut the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis this fall, but some students and faculty are concerned that one of the donations funding the endeavor threatens the independence of the Institute. Read more.
Zimbabwe: University and College Students Vow More Anti-Govt Protests
All Africa, 08/06
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has vowed to stage more protests against the government as state universities and colleges reopen for the new semester. Read more.
Behind Berkeley’s Semester of Hate
Andrew Beale and Sonner Kehrt, New York Times, 08/04
Last semester’s protests at the University of California, Berkeley, challenged liberal presumptions about who exactly the good guys were. Anti-fascists, or Antifa, clad like ninjas and hellbent on silencing a speaker (the provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos), smashed windows and set fires. Read more.
Chinese academic who called Mao a ‘devil’ says he was sacked
A Chinese professor who called the founder of modern China Mao Zedong a “devil” on social media said on Friday he had been sacked by a prominent Beijing university. Read more.
Turkish crackdown takes toll on academic output
Santiago Sáez Moreno, Chemistry World, 08/04
The crackdown on even the slightest perceived dissent after last year’s failed coup in Turkey has had serious repercussions for the country’s academic productivity. Since the attempted military takeover in July 2016 the number of papers published by Turkish scientists and academics has dropped by 28%. Read more.
What is a black professor in America allowed to say?
Steve Kolowich, The Guardian, 08/03
Tommy J Curry thought forcing a public discussion about race and violence was part of his job. It turned out that people didn’t want to hear it. Read more.
Short Film for Gülmen, Özakça On Hunger Strike
The short film “She is alive” tells the story of literature professor Nuriye Gülmen and primary school teacher Semih Özakça, who are on a hunger strike to protest their dismissal by emergency decree. Read more.
Litigation Ban Advances, and Controversy Escalates
Nick Roll, Inside Higher Ed, 08/02
A committee of the University of North Carolina system Board of Governors voted Tuesday to bar a prominent university civil rights center from engaging in litigation, a decision that alarmed both civil rights and academic freedom advocates. Read more.
Twitter Blowback: Lost Job and Lost Money
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 08/02
Montclair State strips adjunct of courses amid controversy over tweet wishing someone would shoot Trump. Trinity of Connecticut details students and gifts lost amid furor over professor’s hashtag. Read more.
A Chinese Threat to Australian Openness
Merriden Varrall, The New York Times, 07/31
Australians are increasingly concerned about China’s growing influence in the country. The push extends to Australia’s universities. Read more.
University Leaders Should Plan for Another Year of Campus-Speech Protests. Here’s How.
Nell Gluckman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 07/31
Campus officials shared recommendations for other leaders hoping to mitigate the damaging effects campus conflicts over controversial speakers can have on universities’ senses of community and safety. Read more.
Uighurs arrested in Egypt face unknown fate
Al Jazeera, 07/27
Mahmoud Muhammad and his family were not home when Egyptian security forces knocked on the door of their flat in Cairo’s Nasr City on June 30. Read more.
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 07/26
On a Thursday morning in May, Tommy J. Curry walked through the philosophy department’s offices at Texas A&M University with a police officer at his side and violence on his mind. Read more.
Durban University of Technology classes called off as students protest over funding
Lwandile Bhengu, Business Day, 07/26
Lectures at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) have been called off for the rest of the week after protests over student funding. Read more.
The Gross Misconduct of Radwan Ziadeh’s Asylum Denial
Suzanne Nossel, Foreign Policy, 07/25
Forty-one-year-old Radwan Ziadeh’s résumé is enough to make a Washington overachiever blush. He has published more than 20 books. He founded and directed institutions including the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies and the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies and helped establish the Syria Relief Network, the largest coalition of Syrian humanitarian groups. Read more.
Honduran Police Fire Tear Gas, Water Cannon at Student Protest
Honduran police have violently cracked down on a student protest in the capital Tegucigalpa, using tear gas and water cannons laced with chemicals to disperse the protesters. Read more.
First Refugee Scholarship Program Experiences Rapid Growth
Rasha Faek and Tarek Abd El-Galil, Al-Fanar Media, 07/25
After suffering through a ten-day siege in Syria without food or electricity, in October of 2012, Fatima al-Batoul Fawakherji and her family took an old bus from Jericho, southwest of Idlib, and made a 16-hour journey to Lebanon. Read more.
Political Prisoners Including Swedish Resident Hidden from Ambassadors During Evin Prison Visit
Center for Human Rights in Iran, 07/22
Shortly before Iranian officials took the Swedish and other foreign ambassadors on a staged tour of Evin Prison on July 5, 2017, Swedish resident Ahmadreza Djalali and other political prisoners were moved to a ward under the control of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry. Read more.
Thai Academics to Be Summoned by Military for Raising ‘Anti-Junta Placards’ at an International Conference
Global Voices, 07/21
The deputy governor of the northern province of Chiang Mai has threatened three academics in Thailand who allegedly put up banners against the junta. Read more.
Dozens of scholars arrested and 300 sacked in Turkey purge
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 07/21
More than 300 academics have been sacked and dozens arrested in the latest purge of Turkey’s university system. Read more.
Students graduate from American University of Afghanistan a year on from deadly attack
Ruchi Kumar, The National, 07/20
Early on Saturday morning, a group of enthusiastic young students at the American University in Afghanistan (AUAF) donned their graduation robes and hats, ready to accept their hard-earned degrees. Read more.
No academic freedom in public varsities without autonomy
Free Malaysia Today, 07/20
The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has called for policies to bring about greater autonomy among Malaysia’s public universities over their own administrative affairs, in order to make academic freedom in these institutions possible. Read more.
Mormon university instructor fired after Facebook post supporting LGBT rights, she says
Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 07/19
Ruthie Robertson, 22, knew her private Facebook post would be controversial among her Mormon friends. After all, as a “huge leftist living in a completely red state,” Robertson was used to criticism about her outspoken views on feminism and politics. Read more.
Academics to be summoned by military for resisting junta
The Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai has threatened three academics who allegedly put up banners against the junta with being summoned by the military. Read more.
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 07/19
Southern New Hampshire University has received $10 million from anonymous donors to expand its refugee education initiative, which it has piloted in the Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda. Read more.
The Princeton Student Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison in Iran
Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, 07/17
An Iranian court has sentenced an American graduate student to 10 years in prison for spying, the latest case of a U.S. citizen accused of espionage by the Islamic republic. Read more.
Purge of academics has reached a ‘staggering’ scale – SAR
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 07/15
In the year since the attempted coup in Turkey, a “staggering” number of academics have faced criminal investigations, detentions, prosecutions, mass dismissal, expulsion and restrictions on travel, according to an open letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, signed by Robert Quinn, executive director of Scholars at Risk or SAR, the New York-based scholar rescue network, who demanded a reversal of the measures. Read more.
US academy ‘must commit to free speech’ as Republicans lose faith
Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 07/15
US universities’ decisions to cancel conservative speakers and the “bashing” of the sector by conservatives have contributed to the rise in the number of Republicans who are against higher education, according to sector figures. Read more.
Brussels steps up action against Hungary over civil society curbs
Andrew Byrne, Financial Times, 07/13
Brussels intensified the EU’s confrontation with Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, on Thursday, stepping up its action against the country over laws that target civil society groups and universities with foreign links.Read more.
Liu Xiaobo: The man China couldn’t erase
Carrie Gracie, BBC News, 07/13
“There is nothing criminal in anything I have done but I have no complaints.” So stated Liu Xiaobo in court in 2009, and in the eight long prison years between then and now, he refused to recant his commitment to democracy. No wonder China’s leaders are as afraid of him in death as they were in life. Read more.
More Uyghurs Detained in Cairo as Students Appeal to Al-Azhar For Help
Radio Free Asia, 07/12
Egyptian authorities continued this week to round up and deport ethnic Uyghurs studying at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Islamic University, prompting some to appeal directly to the university’s senior imam for his help in preventing their forced return to China, sources said. Read more.
Turkish academics flee abroad to an uncertain life incognito
Ayse Yildirim set out to attend an academic conference in Germany in October last year, little suspecting that she would not be permitted to return to Turkey. Read more.
Web Comic: The Scientist Who Escaped Aleppo
Erik Nelson Rodriguez, NPR, 07/11
It had always been Nedal Said’s dream to work as a researcher at a university, but those jobs went to people with connections. He had a PhD in microbiology, worked at a water treatment plant, and taught science and Russian. Read more.
Ben Shapiro to talk at Berkeley college where clashes have shut down other conservative speakers
Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, 07/11
Ben Shapiro plans to speak at the University of California at Berkeley in September, challenging the school to accommodate a conservative speaker after similar events were canceled when protests spun out of control. Read more.
Turkey orders 72 university staff detained in coup-related probe: Anadolu
Turkey issued arrest warrants for 72 university staff, state media said on Monday, including a former adviser to the main opposition leader who staged a mass rally on Sunday to protest a crackdown since a failed military coup last year. Read more.
Threats and attacks: White supremacists target campuses
Patrick Strickland and Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath, Al Jazeera, 07/10
When Tommy Curry woke up one day in May, he found a slew of death threats and hate mail on his voicemail and in his email inbox. Read more.
Higher education ‘under siege’ in Venezuela
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 07/09
Academics and students are warning of a major crisis in Venezuelan higher education as the country slips deeper into political chaos. Read more.
Two suicide bombers targeting University of Maiduguri killed
Abdulkareem Haruna, Premium Times, 07/07
Police on surveillance duty around the University of Maiduguri on Thursday night gunned down two male suicide bombers who were attempting to sneak into the varsity’s campus to carry out another attack. Read more.
Greece’s troubling prosecution of its former chief statistician: Why Congress and State should speak up
Barry D. Nussbaum and Katherine K. Wallman, Huffington Post, 07/07
The beleaguered Greek economy is poised to receive debt relief and bailout loans from European institutions in the amount of about seven billion Euros. This success is largely attributable to the revision of Greek economic data in accordance with procedures required by the European Commission. Read more.
Egyptian Police Said to Detain Chinese Uighurs in Wide Sweep
New York Times, 07/06
Chinese students from the Uighur ethnic minority have been detained in Egypt in a broad police sweep that has shaken the country’s sizeable Uighur student and expatriate community, activists said Thursday. Read more.
Johnson Space Center Scientist Denied Bail in Turkey
Dianna Wray, Houston Press, 07/06
Golge has been held in Turkey since last summer and has spent more than seven months in solitary confinement, because of vague accusations and a single American $1 bill, as we’ve reported. Read more.
The plight of Libya’s academics should concern us all
Darren Linvill, Times Higher Education, 07/06
In spring 2015, Frederic Wehrey, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, found himself sleeping on a mattress in a garage outside Sirte, Libya. With him were a group of male students from Misurata University. But these students were not paying their way through college by working as mechanics. They were moonlighting as militiamen fighting Islamic State. Read more.
10 Iraqi Universities Rebuild In Wake of Islamic State
Gilgamesh Nabeel, Al-Fanar Media, 07/04
Ten Iraqi universities closed their doors as the Islamic State seized swaths of northwestern Iraq three years ago. Read more.
German town awards 2017 Human Rights Prize to Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti
Catherine Lai, Hong Kong Free Press, 07/04
The city of Weimar, Germany has announced that it will award its 2017 Human Rights Award to Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti, who is serving a life prison sentence in China for separatism. Read more.
Usak University lays off 9 academics over Gulen links
Turkey Purge, 07/03
Usak University has laid off 9 academics as part of Turkish government’s widening crackdown after the failed military coup attempt. Read more.
Liu Xiaobo, China’s Prescient Dissident
Jianyang Fan, The New Yorker, 07/03
China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the political dissident Liu Xiaobo, is gravely ill. In 2008, Liu, a prolific essayist and poet, was working on a manifesto advocating peaceful democratic reform, which became known as Charter 08, when the Chinese government tried him and found him guilty of “inciting subversion of state power.” Read more.
New Legistlation Could End Free Speech on Campus
Neal H. Hutchens, Newsweek, 07/02
Around the country, state lawmakers have been talking about—and legislating—ways intended to protect free speech on college campuses. Read more.
Links with Turkey vital amid clampdown, academics say
Michael Gardner, University World News, 6/30
Recent political developments in Turkey – where thousands of academics have been dismissed and some detained in jail over the past 18 months – have had a profound effect on academic cooperation with Germany. Read more.
A Syrian activist was a State Department ally. Now the U.S. won’t grant him asylum.
Washington Post, 06/29
Radwan Ziadeh embodies the hopes that Syrians had when they first rose up against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. He is a secular liberal activist who not only dreams of a Syrian democracy, but also for years did his best to promote one through organizations he founded. Read more.
12 Peace Declaration Signatory Academics Discharged from Dokuz Eylül University
12 academics, who faced investigation for signing peace declaration, have been discharged from Dokuz Eylül University. Read more.
Turkish Scholars in the U.S. Face a Difficult Decision on Speaking Out
NellGluckman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 06/28
Henri J. Barkey, a Turkish professor of international relations at Lehigh University, will no longer board a flight that passes over the country where he was born, let alone land there, out of fear that he’ll be arrested. Read more.
We need to protect free speech on campus
Debra Soh, The Globe and Mail, 06/28
On Wednesday, the Canadian Freedom Summit will be held in Toronto. The speaker lineup includes Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, and Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto psychology professor who opposed Bill C-16 and the use of gender-neutral pronouns. Read more.
Supreme Court Partially Reinstates Travel Ban
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 06/27
The Supreme Court on Monday partially lifted the injunction on President Trump’s ban on entry for nationals of six Muslim-majority countries, allowing it to take effect except for in the cases of “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Read more.
Diplomatic Crisis Over Qatar Worries Gulf Educators
Eman Kamel, Al-Fanar Media, 06/27
Long-term effects on education in the Arab region are feared as the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its neighbors enters its fourth week without any sign of resolution. Read more.
New York governor says progress in Hungary university talks
Sean Coughlan, BBC, 06/26
The Central European University in Budapest has become the centre of a symbolic, international stand-off. Read more.
Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo released from Chinese prison with late-stage cancer
Benjamin Haas, The Guardian, 06/26
China’s best-known political prisoner, the civil rights campaigner and Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, has been released on medical parole after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Read more.
Vietnam exiles dissident after revoking his citizenship
Al Jazeera, 06/25
A Vietnamese dissident blogger with dual French citizenship has arrived in Paris after he was stripped of his birth nationality by the Asian country and deported. Read more.
Insider knowledge: homegrown solutions for academic refugees
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 06/25
If the risk of a “lost generation” of Syrian students and academics is to be avoided, universities in the region must be part of the solution. Read more.
Loose Definition of Terrorism Upends a Syrian Asylum Seeker’s Life
Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 06/23
A prominent Syrian dissident has been told he cannot get political asylum in the United States because he organized a conference with Syrian opposition groups — even though the American government has supported members of those same groups in the Syrian civil war. Read more.
Israel’s Ethics Code for Professors Would Encourage More Academic Boycotts, Warns U.S. Union Head
Amir Tibon, Haaretz, 06/22
The head of America’s largest teachers’ union, Randi Weingarten, told Haaretz Tuesday that Israel’s proposed ethics code for university professors will be “totally counterproductive” and more likely to trigger academic boycotts of the country. Read more.
India’s crackdown at college campuses is a threat to democracy
Nilanjana Bhowmick, Washington Post, 06/21
On June 17, the hashtag #WhereIsNajeeb was trending on Twitter in India. The Twitter storm, organized by a civil society group, MuslimIndia, aimed to prod the government for transparency over the case of Najeeb Ahmed, a 27-year-old student who went missing from his university in October. Read more.
Suspended for Standing Up to Fox News?
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 06/21
Essex County College hired pop culture commentator and producer Lisa Durden as an adjunct professor of communications, in part for her past appearances on such networks as Fox News. Read more.
Prayuth visits Khon Kaen, police raids Dao Din activists’ house
The Isaan Record, 06/21
Early this morning, police officers and soldiers searched the house of student activist group Dao Din in Khon Kaen. Three activists, who were awaken from their sleep, say that the authorities did not have a legal search warrant. Read more.
Canadian Holocaust scholar says he’s a target of Polish ‘hate’ campaign
Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, 06/20
An eminent Canadian historian whose writings on the Holocaust in Poland have attracted death threats said Tuesday that fierce criticism of his research is an unjustified attack on academic freedom. Read more.
She May Be The Most Unstoppable Scientist In The World
Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR, 06/20
Two years ago, Eqbal Dauqan was going to work in the morning as usual. She’s a biochemistry professor. And was driving on the freeway, when suddenly: “I felt something hit my car, but I didn’t know what it was because I was driving very fast,” she says. Read more.
Scholars at Risk offers refuge – and a voice – to persecuted scholars
McGill Reporter, 06/19
“Ally,” as he must be known, is one of thousands of academics facing persecution, torture and death around the world. While he once feared for his life in his home country in South Asia, today, he has found refuge at McGill as part of the Scholars at Risk program (SAR). Read more.
28 pct decrease in Turkey’s academic research output due to post-coup purge: report
The number of research outputs by Turkey-based academics decreased by 28 percent year-on-year in 2017, according to a recent report. Read more.
Two Turkish educators to mark 100th day of hunger strike
Gamze Kolcu, Hurriyet Daily News, 06/15
June 16 will be the 100th day of the beginning of the hunger strike of two jailed educators, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, in protest at being dismissed from their posts through state of emergency decrees. Read more.
Statistician Prosecuted: Latest Developments in Andreas Georgiou Case
Steven Pierson, American Statistical Association, 06/15
The ASA, through its ASA Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights, has been watching closely the Andreas Georgiou situation, which recently saw some good news and more concerning news. Read more.
Violence on campus: Call for promoting culture of dialogue
The Express Tribune, 06/16
The speakers on Thursday in a dialogue resolved to promote culture of dialogue, extra-curricular activities, peace, tolerance, harmony, fundamental human rights and coexistence in the higher educational institutions of the country. Read more.
Kabul’s American University just reopened after terrorist attack. Now it’s facing new threats.
Annie Gowen, Washington Post, 06/15
In late March, students at the American University of Afghanistan returned to a new main campus — fortified by 19-foot-high concrete walls — after a devastating terrorist attack last year that left 15 dead, including seven students. Read more.
A Lexicon of Repression in Thailand
Tyrell Haberkorn, Association for Asian Studies, 06/14
In an essay for the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies (“The Anniversary of a Massacre and the Death of a Monarch,” currently free to download), I reflect on the fortieth anniversary of the 6 October 1976 massacre, when state and para-state forces brutally murdered unarmed students at Thammasat University in Bangkok. Read more.
Turkey’s persecution of academics is ‘unmatched’
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 06/14
Persecution of Turkish academics in the wake of last year’s failed military coup has reached “unprecedented levels,” an international charity has warned. Read more.
Arab Students Caught in Regional Conflict With Qatar
Aisha Elgayar, Al-Fanar Media, 06/13
Dana al-Mansouri, a third-year Qatari student at an Emirati medical school, will not be able to take her final exam this year because of the United Arab Emirate’s decision to break diplomatic relations with her country and cease all other contact. Read more.
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 06/12
A professor at the American University of Beirut traveling to an engineering conference in California was denied entry into the U.S. by immigration officials at Los Angeles International Airport in a case that could raise renewed concerns about the impact of the Trump administration’s travel policies on academic exchange. Read more.
Your rights, my rights: Academic freedom faces off with a clarion call for safety on campus
John Ibbitson, The Globe and Mail, 06/11
Outside the student centre, the UBC Free Speech Club is holding a Blasphemathon, to protest Parliament’s anti-Islamophobia Motion 103. At the top of his lungs, Louis Jung, a second-year visual-arts student, is urging passers-by to come over and draw the most offensive picture possible. Read more.
Israeli Education Minister’s Ethics Code Would Bar Professors From Expressing Political Opinions
Yarden Skop, Haaretz, 06/10
An ethics code devised at Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s behest would bar professors from expressing political opinions, it emerged Friday. Read more.
Michigan Gun Ban Upheld
Nick Roll, Inside Higher Ed, 06/08
A state appeals court ruled Wednesday that the University of Michigan is allowed to keep its ban on guns on campus, standing against recent court and legislative rulings elsewhere that have limited or eliminated similar bans. Read more.
Grave concern over academic given 10 years in jail
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 06/07
Scholars at Risk along with the Committee of Concerned Scientists and three other human rights organisations have issued a joint statement expressing grave concern over the case of Bahraini academic and activist Khalil Al-Halwachi, who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison in March, in apparent retaliation for his peaceful expressive and associative activity. Read more.
University asked to rethink Tiananmen forum, academic says
Primrose Riordan, The Australian, 06/07
An academic at the University of Sydney has said the institution was asked by the Chinese consulate in Sydney to reconsider holding a forum on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Read more.
Student Activism should be Dealt with Prudence. Not Violence
Sohail Nasti, Kashmir Reader, 06/06
While violence, killings, strikes, curfews and protests are nothing new in Kashmir, as for the last almost three decades it has become a routine in the Valley, the onslaught on education is something which is a real cause of concern. Read more.
Crisis in Qatar
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 06/06
The decision by five Arab nations to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar and in some cases recall their citizens will have implications for branch campuses of foreign universities based there. Read more.
Evergreen State College closes again after threat and protests over race
Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, 06/05
The Evergreen State College closed again Monday, the second time in days that security concerns led college officials to shut down a campus that has gotten national attention after protests over race. Read more.
How Trump Has Stoked the Campus Debate on Speech and Violence
Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 06/04
Nearly a century ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., famously suggested, in defense of free speech, that “every idea is an incitement.” But are words themselves violence? Read more.
‘My country, my people’
Jana Wendt, SBS, 06/02
“It’s over,” thought the compact, bespectacled man as he approached the final departure barrier at Guangzhou airport. His academic mission had been a success, the interviews conducted during the month’s field trip providing valuable new material. Dr Chongyi Feng’s subject, which had preoccupied him for two years, was human rights lawyers and their role in the new China. Read more.
In Turkey, a Hunger Strike Divides a Country in Turmoil
Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, 06/01
In 1990, Turkish authorities built a monument to human rights in the center of the Turkish capital. Since May 22, nobody has been able to reach it. Read more.
In Turkey, crackdown threatens academia
Tori DeAngelis, American Psychological Association, 06/01
Until last year, developmental and community psychologist Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu, a former vice president of the Turkish Psychological Association, was chair of the psychology department at Doğuş University in Istanbul. Read more.
Why Academic Freedom Should Be Covered at Freshman Orientation
Roger Bowen, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 05/31
Twenty years ago, several New York State legislators, a member of the State University of New York’s Board of Trustees, and members of the New Paltz College Council (an advisory board) publicly and privately pressured the then-president of SUNY New Paltz—me—to cancel a long-planned conference about women’s sexuality hosted by the women’s-studies program. Read more.
Central European University Will Remain in Budapest for 2017-18
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 05/31
Central European University announced Tuesday that it will remain in Budapest for the 2017-18 academic year, amid hope that it will be able to do so for the long run as well. Read more.
Jailed Iranian academic’s treatment a ‘warning’ to ex-pats
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 05/30
An academic jailed on suspicion of being a spy is being used by Iranian authorities as a warning to others who work abroad, his colleagues have claimed. Read more.
A professor detained for his thoughts
Yukti Mukdawijitra, Prachatai, 05/30
“The sky is more expansive inside than it is outside. One can nearly see the horizon.” This was the first sentence that my academic colleague, who is being detained for his thoughts, uttered after we greeted one another. Read more.
IIT-M student beaten up over ‘beef fest’
The Hindu, 05/30
The beef controversy today took an ugly turn, with a PhD scholar of IIT Madras being beaten up allegedly by some students protesting against the “beef fest” held in the campus on Sunday. Read more.
How to Liquidate a People? Academic Freedom in Turkey and Beyond
Umut Özkirimli, Globalizations, 05/22
He could not have foreseen that the simple act of signing a petition would become a life-transforming—in fact, ultimately, a ‘life-ending’—experience. Read more.
Academic Freedom and the Critical Task of the University
Judith Butler, Globalizations, 05/16
Why is academic freedom essential to the idea of the university? To answer this question, let us first ask, what is academic freedom? Read more.
Education as Battleground: The Capture of Minds in Turkey
Deniz Kandiyoti, Globalizations, 05/15
Academic freedom is broadly understood as the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. Read more.
Academic Freedom as an Indicator of a Liberal Democracy
Jonathan R. Cole, Globalizations, 05/15
Academic freedom and free inquiry are at the very core of the value systems of our great universities. These values enable other values, such as meritocracy or the open communication of ideas, to take shape at universities and, at least potentially, operate as an aspirational system on which greatness can be built. Read more.
White supremacist upsurge puts US universities under pressure
Jon Marcus, Times Higher Education, 05/24
Emerson College seemed a curious place for flyers to appear promoting white supremacist organisation American Vanguard. Read more.
In White House Meeting With Erdogan, Trump Doesn’t Mention American Jailed in Turkey
Dianna Wray, Houston Press, 05/24
He was one of thousands of people arrested in Turkey in the wake of a failed coup to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last summer, and despite the fact that Erdogan was in Washington, D.C., last week, there was no formal push from the White House to release Golge. Read more.
In Egypt, Harsh Measures Against Academic Freedom Persist
Mohamed Abdel Salam, Al-Fanar Media, 05/23
The Egyptian government has continued to enforce restrictions on academic professionals and students in 2017, according to a new report by a prominent group of human rights lawyers here. Read more.
US renews call for Hungary to talk with Soros-funded school
Pablo Gorondi, ABC News, 05/23
The Hungarian government should “engage directly” with a university founded by billionaire George Soros which may have to leave Budapest because of recent amendments to the law on higher education, the United States said Tuesday. Read more.
Blacklisted for BDS?
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 05/23
N. Bruce Duthu, a Native American studies scholar, was an appealing candidate for dean of the faculty for arts and sciences at Dartmouth College, at least on paper. Read more.
Notre Dame’s commencement walkout wasn’t about stifling academic freedom
Jemar Tisby, The Washington Post, 05/22
About 100 students at the University of Notre Dame walked out of their commencement ceremony on Sunday, an action that was part of a peaceful protest of the featured speaker, Vice President Pence, and the administration he represents. Read more.
A University in Ruins
Matt Trevithick, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 05/21
The Islamic State is shelling the University of Mosul from across the Tigris, and the echoes of machine-gun fire bounce off the skeletal frames of its burned buildings. Read more.
Another suicide bomb attack at University of Maiduguri
Abdulkareem Haruna, Premium Times, 05/20
Barely 48 hours after three suicide bombers attacked the University of Maiduguri, another bomber on Saturday detonated his explosive outside the perimeter fencing of the school. Read more.
Academic Freedom as an Indicator of a Liberal Democracy
Jonathan R. Cole, Globalizations, 05/15
Academic freedom and free inquiry are at the very core of the value systems of our great universities. These values enable other values, such as meritocracy or the open communication of ideas, to take shape at universities and, at least potentially, operate as an aspirational system on which greatness can be built. Read more.
Six Charged with Lese Majesty over Thai Historian’s Facebook Post
Jack Grove, Chiangrai Times, 05/18
A human rights lawyer is facing up to 150 years in prison for violating Thailand’s strict royal defamation law by sharing Facebook posts written by an exiled dissident academic. Read more.
Academic freedom is the key to truth – and to democracy
Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Boston Globe, 05/18
It’s commencement season, and across the country universities are welcoming speakers, awarding honorary degrees, and sending off their graduates. Read more.
“There’s a climate of fear and mistrust”
Adrian Ritter, University of Zurich News, 05/17
The Turkish government brooks no criticism from academics. That’s why psychologist Ayse Dayi fled the country. This week she talked at UZH about the repression of universities and scholars. Read more.
Romanian government ‘seizes control of research councils’
David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 05/17
Romania’s top universities have called for the country’s research minister to be dismissed after the government removed overseas members and evaluators from national research councils. Read more.
Words Fly on Free Speech Bill
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 05/15
Numerous states are considering legislation designed to ensure free speech on college campuses, following violent protests over speakers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Middlebury College. Some of the bills would, controversially, mandate punishing students who disrupt campus speakers and require institutions to keep mum on political issues — and perhaps nowhere has the debate been as contentious as in Wisconsin. Read more.
Sudan Files Capital Charges Against Dr Mudawi, Idris
All Africa, 05/14
On Thursday, the State Security Prosecution in Khartoum filed criminal charges against two human rights defenders detained since December last year. Some of the charges are punishable by death. Read more.
Three Suicide Bombers Storm University Of Maiduguri Killing A Security Official
Sahara Reporters, 05/13
At least four persons died when three suicide bombers hit the city of Maiduguri on Saturday morning, a security source said. Read more.
Living in Fear of the Academics
Tanya Sharma, Bard College Berlin Student Blog, 05/12
A few weeks ago, news that the Central European University located in Budapest, Hungary had come under threat spread like wildfire around the BCB campus. Read more.
Gender studies under attack from the new right
David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 05/11
As populist, traditionalist politicians make waves across Europe and the US, they have found a new foe in the academy: gender studies. Read more.
Arab Students in Turkey Facing Arbitrary Arrest
Al-Fanar Media, 05/10
Arab students who have previously studied at universities considered by Turkish security forces to have been influenced by the U.S-based cleric Fethullah Gülen are being arrested and threatened with deportation by police. Read more.
Uganda: Dr Stella Nyanzi Released on Bail
Betty Ndagire, All Africa, 05/10
Dr Stella Nyanzi, a Makerere University research fellow charged with cyber related crimes has been released on bail. Read more.
University lecturer faces 15 years in jail for sharing FB post
The Criminal Court has refused to release a lecturer arrested for sharing a Facebook post written by an academic blacklisted by the junta, despite the defendant promising almost one million baht as surety for bail. Read more.
The Young Academic’s Twitter Conundrum
Oliver Bateman, The Atlantic, 05/10
George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor of politics at Drexel University and an outspoken political activist, has tweeted his way into some hot water. Read more.
Uyghurs Studying Abroad Ordered Back to Xinjiang Under Threat to Families
Radio Free Asia, 05/09
Uyghur students enrolled in schools outside China are being ordered by Chinese authorities to return to their hometowns by May 20, with family members in some cases held hostage to force their return, sources in Xinjiang and in Egypt say. Read more.
University calm after two foreign academics detained
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 05/09
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, or PUST, has said it is not issuing any particular instructions for the protection of its foreign staff in North Korea in the wake of the recent detention by North Korean authorities of two American professors teaching there. Read more.
It’s Been a Messy Semester for Free Speech on Campus. What’s Next?
Chris Quintana, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 05/09
On April 27, here in Sproul Plaza, heralded as the birthplace of the free-speech movement, police officers carrying zip tie handcuffs watched as crews set up thick jersey barriers in response to a speaker who said she was not coming to the campus. Read more.
Ukraine: Prison Sentence for Academic in Separatist Region
Human Rights Watch, 05/06
A military tribunal in the separatist-held area of Ukraine’s Donetsk region convicted a professor with pro-Ukrainian views on trumped-up charges of illegal weapons possession on May 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Read more.
Ethiopia: Oromo leader Merera Gudina’s terrorism case again adjourned
Africa Times, 05/04
Ethiopian courts have adjourned until June 2 the case of leading opposition leader Merera Gudina, chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), who has denied charges of terrorism lodged against him. Read more.
Trump is not US universities’ biggest threat
Matthew Hartley, Times Higher Education, 05/04
Some predictions of where Donald Trump would lead the country verged on the apocalyptic in the immediate aftermath of his victory in last November’s presidential election. Read more.
Concerns Grow Over Policing of Social Media in Uganda
Halima Athumani, Voice of America, 05/04
In Uganda, the case of a university lecturer jailed last month for allegedly insulting the president on Facebook has revived concern over what civil society groups say are growing efforts to limit freedom of expression in the country. Read more.
How a university became a battle for Europe’s identity
Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 05/03
Michael Ignatieff is not a person you would expect to find at the centre of a global political power play featuring names such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Read more.
North Korea confirms detention of US professor Tony Kim
Al Jazeera, 05/03
North Korea has confirmed the arrest of a US citizen who was lecturing in Pyongyang, accusing him of “acts of hostility”. Read more.
A Country Runs Out of Cash, and Students Suffer
Tarek Abd El-Galil, Al-Fanar Media, 05/02
A few days ago, Osama al-Salhin, 26, celebrated his graduation from Al-Arab Medical University’s Faculty of Pharmacy in Benghazi. Read more.
Students for Free Speech
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 05/01
The news is full of recent incidents in which students have blocked or attempted to block campus speakers. Students have shouted down or shut down appearances of controversial speakers at Middlebury College, Claremont McKenna College and the University of California, Los Angeles, among other campuses. Read more.
Turkey purges 4,000 public officials, blocks Wikipedia
Patrick Kinglsey, The Globe and Mail, 04/29
The Turkish government expanded its crackdown on dissent and free expression over the weekend, purging nearly 4,000 more public officials, blocking access to Wikipedia and banning television matchmaking shows. Read more.
Students sue Fordham over justice for Palestine club rejection
Palestine Legal, 04/27
Today, students at Fordham University filed a lawsuit against the school over its refusal to grant club status to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Read more.
The scientists who had to start over: ‘five years of my career have been wiped out’
Giovanni Ortolani, The Guardian, 04/28
Tamim Chalati remembers an Aleppo where you could get pizza at 3am. “I had a good salary and social life,” the scientist says, recalling how he used to take his two children out for “hot and crispy barbecue food”, their favourite, several times a week. Read more.
China Offers Rare Insight Into Punishment for Speaking With Foreign Media
Wall Street Journal, 04/27
A Chinese committee removed a retired professor from his role with an association after he spoke with foreign media, exemplifying the findings of a new report that ranks China among the world’s worst violators of press freedom. Read more.
New Scrutiny for Confucius Institutes
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 04/26
More than 100 American colleges and universities house Confucius Institutes, centers of Chinese language and cultural teaching funded and staffed in part with instructors screened by a Chinese government-affiliated entity known as Hanban. Read more.
Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus
Jonathan Hadit, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 04/26
Images of fires, fireworks, and metal barricades crashing through windows made for great television, but the rioters who shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’s talk at the University of California at Berkeley didn’t just attack property. Read more.
Hungary education law: EU to take legal action amid university row
The EU is taking legal action against Hungary over an education law that could close a prestigious university founded by billionaire George Soros. Read more.
Bahrain academic to appeal against prison term
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 04/25
A Bahraini scholar allegedly jailed in connection with the Arab Spring protests is to appeal his 10-year prison term. Read more.
When words spell danger
Colleen Walsh, Harvard Gazette, 04/24
Crafting compelling narratives and gripping stories can be anguish for many writers in the best of times. But for a special group gathered at Harvard’s Lamont Library, getting their thoughts down can be just the start of their problems, and often the cause of them. Read more.
Fairfield U. students work to free imprisoned Ethiopian professor
Linda Conner Lambeck, Connecticut Post, 04/22
Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes baked by Molly McNamee in her Fairfield University town house probably won’t lead to the release of Bekele Gerba, a professor locked away in an Ethiopian prison. Read more.
The Wrongs of Shutting Down the Ann Coulters Amongst Us
Michael Meyers, Huffington Post, 04/20
Defending free speech used to be the job of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other liberty-loving champions. But, nowadays, that awesome task falls to police on and off campus, where furious politically-driven protesters shut down speakers with whom they disagree. Read more.
White Nationalist Richard Spencer’s Speech At Auburn Sparks Protests, Arrests
Amy Held, NPR, 04/19
White nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at Alabama’s Auburn University was preceded by controversy and punctuated Tuesday night by protests, arrests and some violence. Read more.
Defending Central European University and Academic Freedom
Kris Olds, Inside Higher Ed, 04/18
The Central European University (“CEU”) “in a single week has become the most important global symbol of academic freedom in the world.” Read more.
NASA Scientist Detained Nine Months in Turkey Denied Bail
Diana Wray, Houston Press, 04/18
Serkan Golge, a 37-year-old scientist employed at the Johnson Space Center and an American citizen who has made his home in Houston the past three years, was one of thousands of people arrested in Turkey in the wake of a failed coup to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Read more.
Kashmir unrest: Valley remains tense as students protest against security forces’ ‘excesses’
Sameer Yasir, First Post, 04/17
Thousands of college students on Monday took to the streets of Kashmir to protest the security forces’ ‘excesses’. On Saturday, as many as 50 students were injured in clashes with local police and paramilitary forces; some were hit by pellets. Read more.
How can western universities operating in China ignore human rights? A legal perspective
Robert E. Precht, Hong Kong Free Press, 04/15
The growing presence of Western universities in China alongside an apparent government crackdown on the human rights community raises the issue of the universities’ corporate social responsibility. Read more.
Pakistan: Eight charged for journalism student’s murder
Al Jazeera, 04/15
Eight Pakistanis accused of killing a fellow university student over allegations of blasphemy have been charged with murder and “terrorism”, according to court officials. Read more.
Academic freedom matters now more than it did in the past one-party era
Godwin Murunga, Daily Nation, 04/15
Ugandan Police arrested Dr Stella Nyanzi and arraigned her in court on two counts of ‘cyber harassment’ and ‘offensive communication’ under the Computer Misuse Act 2011. Read more.
Attacks on universities, scholars, students unabated
Ameen Amjad Khan, University World News, 04/14
Even as the international community is raising its voice against the killing of higher education professionals in Pakistan, the assassination of intellectuals and violent killing of students continues unabated. Read more.
Thailand bans online contact with three critics of regime
Oliver Holmes, The Guardian, 04/13
The military-run government of Thailand has announced a ban on all online interaction with three of its most prominent overseas critics. Read more.
Ahead of referendum, UN experts warn Turkey about impact of purge on economic, social and cultural rights
United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, 04/13
Turkey’s state of emergency has been used as a justification to undertake massive violations of the right to education and the right to work and to plunge many civil servants into poverty, according to United Nations experts. Read more.
University shuts down amid violent student protest
Wagdy Sawahel, University World News, 04/13
A demonstration by students protesting against the living and studying conditions at the Abdou Moumouni University campus in Niger’s capital Niamey has forced the authorities to shut down the university following violent clashes between students and security forces. Read more.
‘The calm before the next eruption’: McGill debates academic freedom as fallout from Potter affair continues
Graeme Hamilton, National Post, 04/11
He was not present and his name was hardly uttered, but Andrew Potter cast a shadow over a McGill University lecture hall Monday afternoon as a panel debated the limits of academic freedom. Read more.
‘Academic freedom is not negotiable’: American university in Hungary criticizes new law
Amanda Erikson, Washington Post, 04/11
When Michael Ignatieff took over as president and rector of the Central European University in Budapest in 2016, he knew he’d be busy. But he didn’t anticipate this. Read more.
Yemen: Chaos, War and Higher Education
Faisal Darem, Al-Fanar Media, 04/11
When Ghassan started studying science at a private university in Yemen’s capital city three years ago, he planned to finish his bachelor’s degree quickly and go on to become a professor. Read more.
Another Speech Shut Down
Scott Jaschik, Insider Higher Ed, 04/10
Students at the Claremont Colleges prevented most of the potential audience for a lecture by Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna College from entering the event Thursday night. Read more.
Academic Stella Nyanzi charged with ‘cyber harassment’
Al Jazeera, 04/10
Ugandan academic and government critic Stella Nyanzi has been charged with a “cyber harassment” offence after she repeatedly posted criticism of President Yoweri Museveni and his wife on Facebook, according to court documents. Read more.
75 academics face 15 years in jail each for depositing money into Bank Asya
Turkey Purge, 04/10
An indictment prepared against 77 academics from the Bolu-based Abant Izzet Baysal University (AIBU) seeks up to 15 years in prison each of 75 and up to 22 years for the remaining two. Read more.
Jailed Turkish academic Istar Gözaydin released
David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 04/07
A prominent Turkish social scientist has been released from jail after being held following last year’s failed coup attempt, according to reports. Read more.
Pakistan’s higher education sector faces significant violent and legislative pressures
Scholars at Risk, 04/06
Scholars at Risk (SAR) has filed a submission with the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR), expressing grave concern over threats to Pakistan’s academic freedom and the ability of its higher education space to function in a safe, free, and open manner. Download SAR’s submission.
State attorney seeks life sentence for leading scholar
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 04/06
A prominent academic who has been detained for more than eight months will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the failed coup attempt last July. Read more.
UAE Jails Economist: The Silence is Deafening
Ursula Lindsey, Al-Fanar Media, 04/05
Last week a United Arab Emirates court sentenced Nasser Bin Ghaith, a prominent economist who has advocated greater democracy and human rights, to ten years in prison. Read more.
MPs pass law that threatens to close top university
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 04/04
The Hungarian parliament has passed a controversial amendment to its national law on higher education, changing the regulations for foreign universities, which threatens the continuing operation of the country’s leading university, the Central European University or CEU, founded by billionaire George Soros. Read more.
Class Dismissed – The demise of academia in Erdogan’s Turkey
Emre Celik, Huffington Post, 04/04
We are seeing reports of academics being investigated and subjected to penalties for expressing their opinions about the conflict in the southeast. Read more.
Activists, teachers and students demand release of KU’s Dr Riaz
The News International, 04/03
Several civil society, political and trade union activists, students and teachers gathered outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday afternoon demanding the release of Professor Dr Riaz Ahmed, an academician and political activist. Read more.
Academic Freedom, Under Threat in Europe
Michael Ignatieff, New York Times, 04/02
Academic freedom is a cornerstone of democracy and a free society. As Montesquieu argued in “The Spirit of the Laws,” a text the American founders revered, a free society is defined by robust self-governing institutions that regulate themselves under the law and pursue their objectives without interference from government. Read more.
Australia academic, home after being barred from leaving China, vows to return
Philip Wen, Reuters, 04/02
Subjected to daily interrogations and blocked from leaving China for more than a week, Australia-based academic Feng Chongyi arrived home in Sydney on Sunday, vowing to return to the mainland later this year to complete his research. Read more.
Chief executive must defend academic freedom in Hong Kong
South China Morning Post, 04/02
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s incoming administration will have many pressing issues to deal with, but there is one that deserves careful attention – the academic freedom of our universities. Read more.
Fears over health of doctor imprisoned without trial in Iran
Sharmila Devi, Science Direct, 04/01
The poor health of an Iranian doctor, detained in a Tehran prison in 2016 and now on hunger strike, has international medical and rights groups “extremely worried”. Sharmila Devi reports. Read more.
Academia needs to be ready to defend its freedom
Marit Egner, University World News, 03/31
When I started working at the University of Oslo 10 years ago, the university’s involvement with Scholars at Risk was on my list of responsibilities. Read more.
China blocked Sydney academic from leaving to ‘safeguard national security’
Philip Wen and Christian Shepard, Reuters, 03/30
China said on Thursday that it blocked an Australia-based Chinese academic from taking a flight to Sydney this week to “safeguard national security” as fellow professors called for Beijing to allow him to return home. Read more.
Academic Freedom Front Lines
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 03/30
The president of Central European University has vowed to fight proposed legislation that imperils the university’s future operations in Hungary. Read more.
Arrest of students in Belarus condemned
Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 03/29
The European Students’ Union has condemned the imprisonment of students taking part in protests in Belarus and called for their immediate release. Read more.
Human rights bodies urge release of jailed academic
University World News, 03/28
A coalition of 10 human rights organisations has urged the United Arab Emirates authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Dr Nasser Bin Ghaith, a prominent economist, academic and human rights defender, who faces a verdict in his case on 29 March 2017. Read more.
Işık University fires academic for signing peace petition
Turkish Minute, 03/28
Işık University in İstanbul fired academic Sinan Birdal after he refused to withdraw his support for a petition signed by himself and fellow academics calling for resolution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey. Read more.
Attacks Against African Students Rise in India, Rights Advocates Say
Geeta Anand and Suhasini Raj, The New York Times, 03/29
A young Kenyan woman is pulled from a taxi by a group of men and beaten. A mob storms into a mall and attacks two Nigerian students shopping there. Read more.
Weeks After Charles Murray’s Visit, Middlebury Continues to Debate the Contours of Free Speech
Nell Gluckman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 03/28
Charles A. Murray may have moved on to other campuses, but the Middlebury College community is still debating whether it was right to invite him to speak — and taking stock of what his appearance means for the college going forward. Read more.
American University of Afghanistan Reopens Months after Deadly Terrorist Attack
Noor Zahid, Voice of America, 03/26
The American University of Afghanistan, a prestigious institution of higher education in the country, has just reopened seven months after a deadly terrorist attack that killed 13 people and injured more than 35 others. Read more.
Chinese dissident hosts lecture on human rights at Duquesne
Zachary Landau, The Duquesne Duke, 03/23
On March 20, Chinese lawyer and dissident Teng Biao gave a presentation on the state of civil rights in China to kick off Duquesne’s involvement with the Scholars At Risk (SAR) network. Read more.
Plea to universities to alleviate Syria’s brain drain
Nic Mitchell, University World News, 03/23
The Institute of International Education, or IIE, wants every one of the 15,000 universities around the world to offer a tuition-free place to one Syrian student and rescue one Syrian academic displaced by the civil war. Read more.
Israel conference loses speaker over ex-UN official’s keynote
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 03/22
Only one pro-Israel speaker will address a controversial conference focused on the country after a leading academic boycotted the event. Read more.
Reporting Violations against Students’ Rights in Egypt
Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), 03/21
A new report from SAIH and the human rights organisation AFTE reveals more than 2000 violations of student rights and academic freedom in Egypt. Read more.
‘Hijacking a Fundamental Right’
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 03/21
Has American-style “campus illiberalism” reached Canada? That’s what some are wondering this week in the aftermath of the shouting down of an invited speaker at McMaster University in Ontario. Read more.
A NASA Scientist Has Been Imprisoned in Turkey for 8 Months
Lauren Bohn and Tugba Tekerek, New York Times, 03/20
A NASA scientist, Serkan Golge, has spent the last eight months in a Turkish prison. An attempted coup in Turkey last summer resulted in the government arresting thousands of people on flimsy evidence, and Serkan, a Turkish-American, is one of the casualties. Read more.
China bans “defamation” of Communist Party heroes
Verna Yu, America, 03/20
Have you ever doubted the stories about national heroes you were told as a kid? In China, that has become a dangerous thing to do. Read more.
Jailed Iranian researcher’s health worsening rapidly
Michele Catanzaro, Nature, 03/20
An Iranian researcher jailed in Tehran for the last 11 months is in declining health after spending more than two months on hunger strike. This month, researchers around the world made urgent appeals for his release. Read more.
The Academy’s Assault on Intellectual Diversity
Robert Boyers, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 03/19
It is tempting to describe the battles convulsing American campuses with epithets like “the politics of hysteria.” Read more.
As Turkey’s academia faces desolation, a call for solidarity with imperiled scholars
Karabekir Akkoyunlu, Huffington Post, 03/17
Like its fragile democracy, academic freedom has never been consolidated in Turkey. The budding vibrancy of university campuses in the 1960s gave way to growing political violence and radicalism during the 1970s. Read more.
‘Purge’ of academics follows failed Turkey coup as thousands fired
Michele Catanzaro, Chemistry World, 03/16
Supporters of the 4800 academics who have been dismissed say the move is to remove those critical of the president. Read more.
“Education Embargo”: Scholars at Risk Hosts Discussion on How Immigration Bans Restrict Knowledge
Kritika Agarwal, AHA Today, 03/16
President Donald J. Trump’s new executive order on immigration was supposed to go into effect today. The new order was slightly narrower in scope than the original-it suspended travel from six countries instead of seven, and made exceptions for certain visa holders and US legal permanent residents. Read more.
Rejecting ‘Campus Illiberalism’
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 03/16
Ideological odd couple Robert George and Cornel West issue joint statement — attracting thousands of signatures — in wake of shouting down of a speaker at Middlebury. Read more.
Disappearing books: How Russia is shuttering its Ukrainian library
Andrew Osborn, Reuters, 03/15
First, armed police seized some of its books. Next, its director was put on trial accused of stirring up ethnic hatred. And now, quietly, its shelves have been emptied and its volumes packed up, ready to be merged into another library’s collection. Read more.
Tales of war: Is China’s academic freedom at risk?
Al Jezeera, 03/11
At two million troops strong, the People’s Liberation Army is the most powerful symbol of Chinese might. Globally, it is recognised as the largest military force in the world. The army’s role and history in society is unquestioned, therefore anyone who dares to challenge it – or any of its legacy – is in for a lot of trouble. Read more.
Universities in US and Europe denounce new travel ban
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 03/10
Universities in the United States and Europe have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s new travel ban issued on 6 March, voicing alarm at the impact it will have on international students but also on the US’s ability to attract the best talent.
University in row over deal with Chinese universities
Mimi Leung and Yojana Sharma, University World News, 03/02
A university in Taiwan has got itself into political hot water by signing written agreements with Chinese universities not to touch on sensitive political issues that might include Taiwanese independence, or the controversial ‘one China’ policy, while hosting students from the Chinese mainland. Read more.
Hunted, haunted, stateless and scared: the stories of refugee scientists
Gunjan Sinha, Nature, 03/01
When the war in Syria reached Aleppo in 2012, geographer Mohamed Ali Mohamed fled with his family to a town about 50 kilometres to the north. For two years, he trekked back on public transport every day to teach at the University of Aleppo, despite the constant street fighting and air strikes. Read more.
Silencing Advocacy That Irritates State Leaders
Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed, 02/28
UNC board members want law school’s civil rights center to be barred from lawsuits and suing the state – which the center has done with success in the past. Read more.
Thai university riled by lecturers’ criticism of government
The Washington Post, 02/28
Rights groups are urging a university to drop an investigation of a group of lecturers who criticized Thailand’s military junta, calling the university’s response an attack on free speech and academic freedom. Read more.
Assistant professor investigated due to Gülen links commits suicide
Turkish Minute, 02/28
A 34-year old assistant professor in the faculty of dentistry at Ordu University in Turkey’s Black Sea region, Mustafa Sadık Akdağ, has committed suicide, apparently because of the psychological trauma he experienced from being investigated due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement. Read more.
Universities spark free speech row after halting pro-Palestinian events
Sally Weale and Steven Morris, The Guardian, 02/27
Universities have been accused of undermining freedom of speech on campus after cancelling events organised by students as part of an annual pro-Palestinian event called Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). Read more.
Politically Motivated Charges Against Ethiopian Opposition Leader
Felix Horne, Human Rights Watch, 02/27
Three months after Ethiopian security forces arrested opposition leader Dr. Merera Gudina upon his return to Ethiopia, following his participation in a hearing at the European parliament about the crisis in his home country, prosecutors on Thursday charged the prominent 60-year-old politician with rendering support to terrorism and attempting to “disrupt constitutional order.” Read more.
Free speech in Indian universities under threat: Amnesty International India
Manash Pratim Gohain, The Times of India, 02/22*
Raising concern over the violence in North Campus of Delhi University over participation of two students from Jawaharlal Nehru University at a two-day seminar of “Cultures of Protest” at Ramjas College, Amnesty International India stated that “free speech in India universities under threat,” on Wednesday. Read more.
Academic Freedom at Risk: Turkey, the Middle East and Beyond (Podcast)
UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, 01/27*
2016 was a terrible year for university professors and scholars working in Turkey and much of the Middle East. In Turkey, the one-year decline in academic freedom, university self-governance and security of tenure was precipitous and very far-reaching. Listen here.
Delhi University: Students clash at North Campus, cops beat and threaten scribes
Mohammad Ibrar, The Time of India, 02/23
Delhi University’s North Campus witnessed a string of violent clashes on Wednesday between two groups after Ramjas College students, supported by members of left outfits, called for a protest march against Delhi University Students’ Union (Dusu) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for allegedly disrupting a seminar titled “Cultures of Protest”. Read more.
Ethiopia Prosecutors Bring Multiple Criminal Charges Against Opposition Leader Dr. Merera Gudina, Two others
Mahlet Fasil, Addis Standard, 02/23
Ethiopian prosecutors have brought multiple criminal charges against prominent opposition leader Dr. Merera Gudina, Chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). Criminal charges include an attempt to violently overthrow the constitutional order. Read more.
Jatupat’s seventh bail request denied
Bangkok Post, 02/22
The family and lawyers of lèse-majesté suspect Jatupat Boonpattararaksa on Wednesday vowed to keep on appealing to secure bail for the 25-year-old after their seventh request was rejected by a court. Read more.
Iowa Bill Would Force Universities to Consider Political Affiliation in Faculty Hiring
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 02/22
Iowa’s public universities would have to base faculty-hiring decisions on applicants’ political-party affiliations under a bill pending before the State Senate’s Education Committee. Read more.
Academic Freedom Bulletin – Issue No. 6 December 2016
Mohamed Abdel Salam, Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, 02/22
A noticeable change occurred in the overall forms of the violations taking place within the universities. In the past six months concern with political and society issues in the universities has dropped. Read more.
Climate scientists face harassment, threats and fears of ‘McCarthyist attacks’
Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 02/22
little less than seven years ago, the climate scientist Michael Mann ambled into his office at Penn State University with a wedge of mail tucked under his arm. As he tore into one of the envelopes, which was hand-addressed to him, white powder tumbled from the folds of the letter. Read more.
CHP youth branch member arrested for insulting Erdoğan
Turkish Minute, 02/20
Samet Sarı, a university student and member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) youth branch, was arrested on Monday on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Read more.
Trump travel ban on Iranians ‘would harm US science and nation’
John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 02/20
US-Iran collaboration benefits the quality of research in both nations, according to data, while experts also warn that Donald Trump’s attempted travel ban ignored the scientific, economic and security benefits to America from such links. Read more.
UAE: Academic Facing Speech Charges
Human Rights Watch, 02/16
An Emirati academic facing charges that include his peaceful criticism of the Egyptian and Emirati authorities will have spent more than 18 months in detention by the time the next session of his trial takes place on February 22, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Read more.
What can scholars do about the refugee crisis?
Marie Curie Alumni Association, 02/15
The devastation of Syria and countries in the region, and the resulting forced migration, is having a massive impact on its higher education system.
A Roadmap for Rebuilding Higher Education in Iraq
Lori Mason, Al-Fanar Media, 02/14
As the battle for Mosul nears an end, Iraqis anticipate the defeat of Da’esh (also known as Islamic State) and an end to the brutality that has gripped the country for the past two years. Read more.
Ahmadreza Djalali, Iranian Scientist, May Face Death Penalty, Family Says
Thomas Erdbrink, The New York Times, 02/13
European governments are protesting Iran’s treatment of an Iranian-born scientist, now a resident of Sweden, who was arrested last year in Iran and who could now face the death penalty. Read more.
Harvard, Yale and Stanford Among 17 Colleges Joining Fight Against Trump’s Travel Ban
Patricia Hurtado, Bloomberg, 02/13
Seventeen elite universities including Harvard, Yale and Stanford have joined forces to fight President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by refugees and citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. Read more.
Street Academy: “Science needs those who disobey it”
Tuba Engel, Independent Turkey, 02/12
The recent dismissal in Turkey of over 300 academics coupled with police attacks against subsequent protests by professors and students on university campuses has sparked a furor across the country, but also fueled growing grassroots organizations challenging oppression through education, such as Street Academy. Read more.
The quest to quell opposition leads to ‘academocide’
Candan Badem, University World News, 02/10
Turkey’s Islamist government dismissed 330 academics from state service under a state of emergency decree last week, without any legal due process or evidence. Read more.
A Conversation with Robert Quinn on Scholars at Risk
Robert Quinn and Stephanie Sy, Carnegie Council, 02/10
Executive Director of Scholars at Risk Robert Quinn speaks with Stephanie Sy of Ethics Matter.
Pai Dao Din formally indicted for lèse majesté
Despite criticism from the UN, a Thai court has refused to release the embattled student activist Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa after public prosecutors indicted him for lèse majesté. Read more.
Purged academics faced violence, threats of lynching
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 02/10
In a week in which 330 more academics were purged from Turkish universities, dismissed academics have provided University World News with testimony of being subjected to indefinite arbitrary detention without access to a lawyer; dismissed with their passport and credit cards blocked and prevented from working in academia at home or abroad and denied a pension; or subjected to mob violence and threats of a lynching. Read more.
Cruelty at the Border
Robert Quinn, Inside Higher Ed, 02/09
Whatever the results of legal challenges, the executive order barring travel to the U.S. from certain Muslim nations will drive foreign scholars and students to think more favorably about other — more welcoming — places, argues Robert Quinn. Read more.
Iranian scholar faces threat of death sentence
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 02/09
An Iranian-born scholar imprisoned in Iran since April 2016 in connection with international collaboration with scholars from countries considered to be ‘enemy states’ has been threatened with a charge that carries the death sentence, according to human rights organisations. Read more.
Plan to ban officials’ children from studying abroad
Eugene Vorotnikov, University World News, 02/09
The Russian parliament or State Duma is considering banning children of Russian officials based in Russia from studying at universities abroad, particularly in Western universities, according to an official spokesperson of the Duma press service. Read more.
Academic Freedom in Egypt Needs More Vocal Support
Mohamed Abdel Salam, Al-Fanar Media, 02/07
About a year ago, Egyptian authorities were faced with the case of Giulio Regeni, an Italian doctoral student who was in Egypt conducting research. He was found murdered after his disappearance in circumstances that remain unknown. Read more.
Universities Spoke Up in Case That Led to Ruling Halting Trump’s Travel Ban
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 02/05
The federal court ruling that put a temporary nationwide halt to the Trump administration’s executive order restricting travel into the United States resulted in part from declarations provided by the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the state’s two-year college system. Read more.
Bela Bhatia’s Story Highlights Ongoing Problems in India’s Chhattisgarh
Padmapriya Govindarajan, The Diplomat, 02/02
On January 23, 2017, Bela Bhatia, an Indian academic and activist based in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was allegedly attacked inside her house by a group of about 30 angry people who demanded her immediate departure from the region. Read more.
Amid Violence, Yiannopoulos Speech at Berkeley Canceled
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, 02/02
The University of California’s Berkeley campus has a storied history of protests and free speech. But Wednesday night it was roiled by violence surrounding a planned appearance by the highly controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos — and the show did not go on. Read more.
Khon Kaen court refuses to release Pai Dao Din
Amid public outcry, a provincial court has refused to release Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, an embattled anti-junta activist accused of lèse majesté. Read more.
Trump Is Undermining Higher Education as a Global Enterprise
Molly Land and Kathryn Libal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 01/31
There are many reasons to be outraged at President Trump’s recent executive order temporarily suspending refugee arrivals and barring individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the United States. Read more.
Academic leaders denounce travel ban as rash and cruel
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 01/31
Higher education leaders and academics across the United States have denounced President Donald Trump’s travel ban as divisive, detrimental and “un-American”. Read more.
After Immigration Order, Two Harvard Affiliates Barred from Entering U.S.
Hannah Natanson, Harvard Crimson, 01/29
At least two Harvard affiliates were barred from entering the United States after President Donald Trump suspended immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries Friday, and the University has warned international students not to leave the country. Rear more.
Academic freedom in Turkey: Theresa May has a choice to make
Mehmet Ugur, Times Higher Education, 01/28
The UK’s prime minister, Theresa May, is visiting Turkey. So far, her government has remained largely silent despite the dictatorial drift in the country. Read more.
UW on edge over perception of rise in hate speech
Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, 01/27
More than a week after a Breitbart News editor’s speech was punctuated by violence on the University of Washington’s Red Square, students and faculty say the campus is on edge because of the perception that hate speech is on the rise. Read more.
Rise of autocratic leaders poses threat to academia
Michael Gardner, University World News, 01/27
Concern over the widening persecution of researchers and journalists under autocratic governments was raised by a panel of higher education and NGO – non-governmental organisation – representatives at a meeting in Bonn, Germany on 25 January, who called on Germany to apply more leverage to promote academic freedom abroad. Read more.
‘A Closing of America’
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 01/26
A draft of an executive order President Trump is reportedly considering would immediately impose a 30-day ban on entry of individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries, reform the visa process and suspend refugee admissions. Read more.
Mosul University after ISIL: Damaged but defiant
Al Jazeera, 01/26
In June 2014, fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) entered Safwan Najah’s laboratory at Mosul University and demanded that the biochemist hand over her keys. Read more.
Trump mandates EPA studies, data undergo review by political staff before release
Chicago Tribune, 01/25
The Trump administration is scrutinizing studies and data published by scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, while new work is under a “temporary hold” before it can be released. Read more.
Professor Who Wrote of Korean ‘Comfort Women’ Wins Defamation Case
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, 01/25
A professor whose book about Japan’s World War II-era military brothels angered Korean women who once worked there was acquitted on Wednesday of defaming the women. Read more.
Academic Refuge: Setting up an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project
Marit Egner, EAIE Blog, 01/24
How can we use the experiences from the work of protecting threatened academics to find solutions for refugee students and academics arriving in Europe? Read more.
Silence on Pai bodes ill for rule of law
Atiya Achakulwu, Bangkok Post, 01/24
We have the right to remain silent, all of us. The longer we keep mum about the case of Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, however, the higher the risk that faith in the law and the justice system will decline. Read more.
Shooting Outside Campus Talk
Scott Jaschnik, Inside Higher Ed, 01/23
A man was shot and seriously wounded at the University of Washington Friday night outside a building where Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart writer who has been inflaming campuses with his comments about race and gender, was speaking. Read more.
Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say
Afef Abrougui, Global Voices, 01/20
Rights groups have expressed concerns about the deteriorating health of UAE academic and economist Nasser Bin Ghaith, in prison since August 2015, over charges that include the peaceful exercise of his right to free speech. Read more.
Court denies bail for Pai Daodin in secret trial
A provincial court in northeastern Thailand has denied bail for an anti-junta student activist accused of lèse majesté. Read more.
Detention warrants issued for 37 academics at İTÜ over Gülen links
Turkish Minute, 01/20
Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 37 academics at İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15. Read more.
Scholars at Risk to Meet at Pomona College on Inauguration Day
Pomona College, 01/19
On January 20, Pomona College will host academic scholars from across the Western United States for the one-day congress of Scholars at Risk (SAR) to discuss best practices for supporting threatened and displaced scholars. Read more.
Answers still needed about brutal murder of Cambridge student Giulio Regeni one year on
Adam Care, Cambridge News, 01/19
Campaigners are stepping up their fight for answers ahead of the first anniversary of the brutal murder of Cambridge student Giulio Regeni. Read more.
White Is the Word
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 01/18
Proposed legislation against “divisive” courses or events at public colleges and universities in Arizona alarmed scholars in that state and elsewhere before the bill reportedly died a quick death Tuesday. Read more.
UAE to hold new hearing for academic Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, 01/17
Tomorrow, 18 January 2017, prominent Emirati economist and academic Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith is scheduled for a new hearing before the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court. UAE authorities have subjected Dr. bin Ghaith to a lengthy trial over charges that violate his right to free expression and association. Read more.
Sudan must end politically-motivated attacks on Darfuri students
Amnesty International, 01/17
The Sudanese government must end politically-motivated and sometimes deadly attacks on Darfuri students at universities across the country, said Amnesty International today as it released a report covering a wave of attacks spanning three years. Read more.
Suicide attack hits Nigeria’s University of Maiduguri
Al Jazeera, 01/16
At least four people were killed and 15 others injured in a suicide bomb attack on a university campus in northeast Nigeria, police said. Read more.
Supreme Council pushes to secure university autonomy
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 01/14
The first six words of the Supreme Council of Universities’ mission statement say it endeavours to achieve autonomy for Egypt’s universities. Read more.
Academic under investigation for organizing panel on Turkey’s emergency rule
Turkey Purge, 01/14
Ankara University Rectorate has launched an administrative investigation against the assistant professor Kerem Altıparmak who organized a panel about the legal basis of Turkey’s post-coup-attempt emergency rule on Oct. 26, 2016. Read more.
Students bid sad farewell to 21 academics dismissed by latest gov’t decrees
Turkish Minute, 01/13
Students at Ankara University bade a sad farewell to 21 academics as they left their offices after dismissal from their jobs as part of government decrees issued on Jan. 6. Read more.
Iran’s Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders: The Case of Narges Mohammadi
Delaram Farzaneh, Oxford Human Rights Hub, 01/12
The “harassment” of human rights defenders’ and “criminalization” of their activities in Iran has become common practice by the judicial branch of the Islamic Republic in recent years. Read more.
Chinese scholars need US backing on human rights
Tao Zhang, Times Higher Education, 01/12
Donald Trump’s recent tweets and statements about alleged Chinese protectionism and military build-up have undoubtedly riled the Beijing hierarchy. But some in China are cheered by the prospect of Sino-American relations being driven by pure deal-making, unperturbed by US nagging about democracy and human rights. Read more.
Academic Gülmen beaten by police while protesting purge from state position
Turkish Minute, 01/11
Academic Nuriye Gülmen, who was dismissed from the civil service along with 648 others from Turkish universities under decrees issued last week, was reported to have been beaten and detained by police in Ankara, where she has been protesting the government decision to purge her and thousands of others from state institutions. Read more.
Chinese professor sacked after criticizing Mao online
A Chinese professor has been sacked after he criticized Chairman Mao Zedong on his 123rd birthday in an commentary he posted online that enraged leftists. Read more.
Academic Freedom and Military Rule in Thailand
Kathryn Hanson, Inside Higher Ed, 01/08
On May 22, 2014, the Thai military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government. This was the twelfth successful coup since 1934 and the most recent in a string of 19 attempted coups. Read more.
On Academic Freedom and Free Speech
Rebecca M. Blank, Blank’s Slate, 01/08
The recent public debate over a course offered this coming semester, African Cultural Studies 405, “The Problem of Whiteness,” is not particularly unusual. Every university that I have been at has experienced occasional controversy about a professor or a course that presents material others find offensive. Read more.
Turkish academic in Malay jail for weeks at Turkey’s request
Turkey Purge, 1/08
A Turkish academic with a valid Malaysian visa was arrested by Malay officials on Dec. 13 upon an alleged request by Turkish authorities in Malaysia. Read more.
Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong under police protection in Taiwan after assault attempt
South China Morning Post, 01/07
Taiwan police ramped up protection for Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and a few pro-democracy lawmakers after a failed attempt by a pro-China protester to assault him as he arrived in the island state in the early hours. Read more.
7 Students Detained for Reading out Secularism Statement Released
Detained for reading out a statement at Dokuz Eylül University calling for secularism, which was shown as a ground for arrest of People’s House members Hamit Dışkaya and Ayşegül Başar, seven students have been released. Read more.
UW-Madison’s ‘Men’s Project’ program on masculine identity draws fire
Pat Schneider, The Capital Times, 1/04
Another offering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this one on masculinity, is drawing fire from conservatives as an example of ideological excesses at the school. Read more.
Leave state control of universities to China
Chris Patten, The Guardian, 12/31
I would not risk the accusations of hysteria that would rightly follow if I were to accuse the universities minister, Jo Johnson, of bearing even a passing resemblance to the Chinese president, Xi Xinping. But as Mr Johnson prepares to watch his higher education and research bill continue its passage through the Lords, I would say this to him: either you or Mr Xi understands the true value of an independent university and, whichever one it is, he does not have a brother called Boris. Read more.
Bahrain Regime’s Fear of Ideas
Brian Dooley, Huffington Post, 12/31
In the coming hours, around 10am local time in Bahrain, jailed dissident Khalil Al Halwachi’s drawn-out, farcical trial will enter its 22nd session at the Fifth High Criminal Court. Read more.
Acquittal Request for Academics for Peace Remains without Response
The third hearing in the trial of Asst. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Meral Camcı, Asst. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy standing trial for having signed the declaration of “We will not be a party to this crime” was held today (December 22). Read more.
Ethiopia releases prominent Zone 9 blogger
Emmanuel Igunza, BBC Africa, 12/22
Authorities in Ethiopia have released a prominent Ethiopian blogger and activist – Befeqadu Hailu – more than a month after he was arrested in the capital, Addis Ababa. Read more.
Court revokes bail of first lèse majesté suspect under King Rama X
In a secret hearing, a provincial court has revoked bail in a lèse majesté case, ruling that the suspect insulted the authorities in a Facebook post. Read more.
Universities are becoming like mechanical nightingales
Keith Burnett, Times Higher Education, 12/19
Earlier this month, I was at a meeting in the contemporary palace that is the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai. I was representing the Royal Society’s president, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, and we were discussing how China and the UK could work together in science and technology. Read more.
Swiss high court slaps down effort to ban university’s Islamic centre
Switzerland’s highest court on Wednesday blocked efforts to ban a state-funded Islamic-focused academic centre at a Swiss university, ruling that an anti-immigration political party’s proposed local referendum on it was discriminatory. Read more.
The Higher Education and Research Bill: it’s a matter of trust
Jo Johnson, Times Higher Education, 12/15
Academic freedom is a principle with which few would disagree. The freedom to interrogate, discover and learn upholds the UK’s prosperity and delivers breakthroughs that can change the way we live and work. Nowhere is this principle more revered and more vital than in universities, which have stood the test of time and become world leaders in large part due to their independence and autonomy. Read more.
A Safe Haven for Scholars at Risk
Sarah Wu, The Harvard Crimson, 12/14
Staring at the computer screen, Mahmoud Hariri watched men guided only by the light of their smartphones salvage bodies from the rubbled remains of buildings. This attack occurred in Hariri’s hometown of eastern Aleppo, Syria, though he viewed the rescue efforts from the safety of Harvard’s campus. Read more.
Threatened researchers find refuge in Germany: Philipp Schwartz Initiative funds 46 more fellows
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 12/13
The Humboldt Foundation grants funding which universities can use to take in threatened researchers. Most of the new fellows come from Turkey.
Higher Ed and Ethiopia’s State of Emergency
Ayenachew Woldegiyorgis, Inside Higher Ed, 12/13
For a year now, Ethiopia has confronted protests in Oromia, the largest regional state. The protest started in opposition to the expansion plan of the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia towns and villages. Then the protest engaged the second largest regional state, Amhara, contributing to further political tensions. Read more.
China’s president takes campaign for ideological purity into universities, schools
Simon Denyer, The Washington Post, 12/12
Universities must be strongholds for the Communist Party, President Xi Jinping says, while schools are on the front line of the battle against the infiltration of “hostile” foreign forces and their “subversive” ideas. Read more.
Survivor’s guilt and loneliness: the life of an activist in exile
Maryam al-Khawaja, The Guardian, 12/10
The first time I had to leave Bahrain, I was given 24 hours to do so and told not to tell anyone. My father had been informed that my name was coming up during interrogations of political detainees, and that is usually a sign that arrest will follow. Read more.
How should universities confront a post-truth world?
Ole Petter Ottersen, University World News, 12/09
In a world characterised by increasing turbulence and conflict, and of inequities and dissatisfaction, academic freedom has come under siege. In some parts of the world, academic freedom is under brutal attack. In other parts of the world, academic freedom is under mounting pressure. Even in the Nordic countries, many scholars report that their academic freedom is diminishing. Read more.
On Dangerous Paths
Lilo Berg, Kosmos, 12/09
They flee from violence and destruction just like other people, but because they are independent thinkers, researchers are often subject to greater threat. Their stories tell of persecution and hardship, but also of new prospects thanks to the solidarity of their colleagues abroad. Read more.
China’s Xi calls for universities’ allegiance to the Communist Party
China’s President Xi Jinping has called for allegiance to the ruling Communist Party from the country’s colleges and universities, the latest effort by Beijing to tighten its hold on education. Read more.
Public University Threatens Student with Expulsion for Anti-Lynching Protest
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 12/08
Winthrop University is threatening a student with expulsion or suspension for her alleged involvement in an art installation criticizing the name of a campus building. Read more.
A White Supremacist Incites a Crowd at Texas A&M
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/07
Alternately goading and mocking the crowd, Richard B. Spencer delivered his white-supremacist message Tuesday evening to a packed room of about 400 people at the Texas A&M University Memorial Student Center. Read more.
Global coalition sets out how to keep universities safe from harm
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 12/06
From Afghanistan to Bahrain, Colombia to Zimbabwe, universities, their staff and students have come under attack in the past few years. Read more.
14 Academics from Yıldız Technical University Arrested
Of YTÜ academics detained within the scope of an investigation launched into “FETÖ”, 30 have been referred to court and 14 others arrested. Read more.
Reclaiming the Watch List
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 12/06
Some professors were troubled by Professor Watchlist when it debuted last month, viewing it as a serious threat to academic freedom. Yet others saw the site — which names and monitors professors “who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom” (the “promoting anti-American values” criterion has since been removed) — as more annoying than dangerous. Read more.
Students can lead the fight against hate – IS survivor
Arther Mirza, University World News, 12/02
Students and the youth are the greatest weapon in the fight against terror and hate, was the message from a survivor who gave a powerful personal testament to the horror of genocide and of how hope can emerge from the darkest of places, at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, last week. Read more.
Ethiopia Security Detain Prominent Opposition Party Leader Dr. Merera Gudina
Addis Standard, 12/01
Security forces implementing Ethiopia’s six-month State of Emergency have last night detained prominent opposition party leader Dr. Merera Gudina, Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), upon his arrival at Bole International Airport. Read more.
Student Press Under Pressure
Kasia Kovacs, Inside Higher Ed, 12/01
A new report finds that university administrators aim to intimidate and censor content of student news organizations, violating basic principles of press freedom. Read more.
I Am a Dangerous Professor
George Yancy, The New York Times, 11/30
Those familiar with George Orwell’s “1984” will recall that “Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” I recently felt the weight of this Orwellian ethos when many of my students sent emails to inform me, and perhaps warn me, that my name appears on the Professor Watchlist, a new website created by a conservative youth group known as Turning Point USA. Read more.
Scholars under attack for critical inquiry, says Higgins
Sorcha Pollak, The Irish Times, 11/29
Thousands of scholars around the world are facing increasing levels of coercion aimed at silencing “critical inquiry” and “intellectual discourse”, President Michael D Higgins has warned. Read more.
Universities must uphold the international right to protest
Jane Duncan, University World News, 11/25
From South Africa to Australia, Canada to India, and Greece to Zimbabwe, students and academics have mounted protests against commodification of universities, leading to spiraling student debt, massive teaching loads, and disempowered faculties. Read more.
The TACTICS countries: potential and the polity
John Gill, Times Higher Education, 11/24
In the TACTICS nations, just as in the UK and the US, universities and democracy depend on each other. Read more.
Turkey’s emergency rule fuels brain drain
Sibel Hurtas, Al-Monitor, 11/21
The aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt has sparked a migration flurry among educated Turks amid crackdowns on media freedoms and free speech, arbitrary restrictions on property and work rights, and growing talk of a looming economic crisis and even a civil war. Read more.
Is imprisoned academic a victim of a mass witchhunt?
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 11/20
A letter from Professor Sedat Laçiner, a prominent imprisoned academic, saying he has been held without trial or access to a lawyer since 23 July, has been passed to University World News. Read more.
Here’s a Rundown of the Latest Campus-Climate Incidents Since Trump’s Election
Nadia Dreid and Shannon Najmabadi, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/16
Organizations that track hate crimes have seen a rise in reports since the presidential election. The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded more than 400 incidents since then, and even though colleges are perceived as liberal oases, they have not been immune from such incidents. Read more.
An Imprisoned Turkish Scholar Speaks
Hank Reichman, Academe Blog, 11/15
The continuing assault on academic freedom in Turkey, which began last spring and intensified after the failed July coup attempt, continues. Read more.
Bahrain Travel Bans Reveal Insecurity
Brian Dooley, The Huffington Post, 11/15
First, Bahraini authorities hit human rights defender Nabeel Rajab with charges for writing an oped in the New York Times, and now they have charged secular opposition leader Ebrahim Sharif after an interview he gave to the Associated Press a few days ago. Read more.
Ethiopian Authorities Arrest Zone9 Blogger Befeqadu Hailu Citing ‘State of Emergency’
Endalk, Global Voices, 11/14
Befeqadu Hailu, one of the best-known voices in Ethiopia’s stifled media environment, was arrested on November 10, 2016. In the morning hours, authorities took Befeqadu from his home to a jail cell in a nearby police station. He spent the day in there and was then transferred to a police station located in a neighborhood called Kotebe. Read more.
Boğaziçi University rector appointed by Erdoğan vows to ‘protect pluralism and free-thought’
Hurriyet Daily News, 11/14
Professor Mehmed Özkan, who was directly appointed to Istanbul’s prestigious Boğaziçi University by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 12 under a state of emergency decree, has vowed to protect the university’s tradition of pluralism and free-thought. Read more.
Social Scientists Work Amid Rising Suspicion
Benjamin Plackett, Al-Fanar Media, 11/14
Social scientists in the Arab world say that governments are increasingly treating their profession with suspicion. Requests for data and access to national archives are routinely blocked by government agencies on the grounds of protecting national security. Read more.
The University of Mosul Could Show the Way in Post-War Reconstruction
Katerina Siira and Thomas Hill, Al-Fanar Media, 11/13
DUHOK, IRAQ—Every morning for more than two years, Farooq Kareem pored over Iraqi and international media reports in Arabic and English, eagerly awaiting news about the anticipated military operation to reclaim Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State. Last month, when Iraqi forces finally began their assault on Mosul, he found himself torn. Read more.
Academic freedom needs public support to flourish, Homa Hoodfar tells science forum
Natalie Samson, University Affairs, 11/11
The day after Americans voted in Donald Trump as their 45th president, Homa Hoodfar sat before an audience of policymakers and members of Canada’s science community to talk about human rights and academic freedom. Read more.
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 11/10
In Trump’s win, professors see threats to science and academic freedom — but also an opportunity to connect with students. Read more.
Angry Saudi intellectuals brand closure of cafe and cultural space as ‘censorship’
Bethan McKernan, Independent, 11/8
Students and book lovers in Riyadh have expressed their dismay that a popular artistic spot in the city has been shut down and all its books removed pending an investigation by the Saudi authorities. Read more.
In the Arab World, an Academic Freedom Report Focuses on Egypt
Edward Fox, Al-Fanar Media, 11/8
A new report on academic freedom catalogs the use of travel bans in Egypt and says they are used to punish academics involved in political and human-rights activism. In one instance, travel restrictions were even used to try to recall an Egyptian academic who was already abroad, the report says. Read more.
Turkey’s ‘Nazi-style’ purge of academia condemned
Jack Grove, Times of Higher Education, 11/7
The mass sacking of more than 1,200 academics in Turkey has been compared to tactics used in Nazi Germany. Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, made his comments shortly after Turkish authorities released a list of 1,273 academics fired from public universities on 29 October. Read more.
Academic Freedom Under Threat Everywhere
Hans de Wit and Kathryn Hanson, Inside Higher Ed, 11/7
In the current political climate, academic freedom is perhaps the most contested aspect of higher education. As noted often in Inside Higher Education, University World News and other media outlets, the situation seems to be getting worse all over the world. Read more.
Turkish universities latest domino in Erdogan’s path
Mustafa Akyol, Al-Monitor, 11/7
When the Turkish government called for a state of emergency six days after the failed coup attempt of July 15, many critics of the government, including this journalist, supported the move, given that the nation had just confronted a lethal threat. As the state of emergency unfolded, however, some of these initial supporters, again including this one, began to change their minds primarily for two reasons. Read more.
Violent attacks shrink the space for higher education
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 11/4
Attacks on higher education communities are occurring at an alarming rate around the world, threatening the safety and well-being of scholars, students and staff, according to a new report by the New York-based Scholars at Risk network or SAR. Read more.
John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 11/04
Turkey’s president has claimed greater powers over the appointment of university rectors, a move that effectively “eradicates university autonomy” and aims to suppress dissent, according to critics. Read more.
Student Protesters Pepper Sprayed at David Duke Debate Appearance
Melina Delkic, ABC News, 11/03
Hundreds of student protesters at historically black Dillard University in New Orleans faced pepper spray and tasers tonight as they attempted to enter the auditorium where Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke debated in the race for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. Read more.
Higher Education Ministry demands private universities ban research deemed ‘insulting to friendly countries’
Mai Shams El-Din, Mada Masr, 11/2
Minister of Higher Education Ashraf al-Shihy has published a statement obliging private universities to review all research papers and thesis dissertations to ensure they do not include any “direct or indirect insult to societies or individuals belonging to any brotherly or friendly countries.” Read more.
Turkey issues detention warrants for 137 more academics over failed coup: CNN Turk
Turkish authorities issued arrest warrants for 137 academics on Wednesday over suspected links to the cleric who Ankara says orchestrated an attempted coup, CNN Turk reported, widening a crackdown that has worried rights groups and Western allies. Read more.
Decrees threaten university autonomy, sack 1,267 staff
Brendan O’Mally, University World News, 11/1
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has taken direct control of the appointment of university rectors and a further 1,267 academics have been dismissed. Read more.
End global crisis of attacks on higher education
Robert Quinn, The Washington Post, 10/31
Armed militants wearing suicide vests attacked Balochistan Police College in Quetta, Pakistan, one night last week, killing campus security guards and then storming student residences, where they indiscriminately opened fire and threw grenades. The assailants killed more than 60 members of the college community and injured more than 120, most of whom were students. Read more.
‘Ideas Are Not Crimes’
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 10/31
Report from Scholars at Risk analyzes more than 150 instances of attacks on higher education, including campus attacks, targeted killings, prosecutions and violence against student protestors. Read more.
My University Is on Fire
Nicky Falkof, The New York Times, 10/30
The university where I work is in crisis. Campuses across South Africa are on fire — in some cases literally — as students protesting impossibly high fees lock horns with reckless police officers. Read more.
South Africa fears brain drain as campuses remain on edge
Chris Havergal, Times of Higher Education, 10/27
Universities in South Africa fear that continuing student protests imperil the reputation of the country’s higher education system, with the flight of leading academics a primary concern. Read more.
Pakistan reels after attack on police training college leaves 61 dead
Salman Masood, New York Times, 10/25
Pakistan was reeling on Tuesday from a major terrorist attack: an overnight assault on a police training college in the southwest that officials said had killed at least 61 people, most of them cadets. Read more.
October 31 To Test Bahrain’s Reforms
Brian Dooley, The Huffington Post, 10/24
Monday October 31 will be a vital test for Bahrain. Two scheduled court verdicts will give a major indication on whether the regime is taking any notice of international pressure to finally ease off its months-long repressive outburst, a clear signal on where the country’s much-vaunted reform project is really headed. Read more.
Backlash to Anthem Protests
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 10/24
Black students nationwide have been inspired by and joined the protest started by Colin Kaepernick of the National Football League in which people decline to stand during the national anthem before athletic contests. Read more.
Ethiopia’s state of emergency cuts lines of communication and puts bloggers at risk of arrest
Soleyana S. Gebremichael, Committee to Protect Journalists, 10/24
On October 4, I heard that my friend Natnael Feleke had not returned home even though it was approaching midnight in Ethiopia. Family and friends were discussing where to search for the blogger, who had only been released 11 months earlier from the notorious Kilinto prison, where he was held for 16 months over his blogging. As Ethiopia responds to months of anti-government protests, the fear of bloggers and social media activists being targeted again seemed real. Read more.
Scholars of India ‘face increasing assaults’ on academic freedom
Chris Havergal, Times of Higher Education, 10/22
Scholars who research Indian history and culture face growing attacks on their academic freedom, wherever they are in the world, an event has heard. Read more.
Workshop on academic freedom in Accra
Ghana Business News, 10/22
The maiden workshop on academic freedom for leaders of University Teachers Associations in West Africa on Thursday opened in Accra. Read more.
Scholars slam ‘indiscriminate’ detention of Muslim youths
Bangkok Post, 10/21
Authorities have launched a Bangkok campaign of indiscriminate arrests and detentions of students and youths who come from the far South, academics say. Read more.
Middle Ground on Campus Speech
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 10/18
Writers’ group has some concerns but rejects idea of a crisis. It offers guidelines that back free expression but also sympathize with the demands of minority students. Read more.
Of spies, academic freedom and institutional autonomy
Zachariah Mushawatu, University World News, 10/15
At the start of his first lecture with a group of new students a prominent University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer always used to say: “I know there are spies among you sent to record what I say in my lectures – go ahead, I don’t care.” Read more.
Feature: Taking politics off campus? Postgrad HKU Council hopefuls debate governance and academic freedom
Ellie NG, Hong Kong Free Press, 10/15
In a bid to represent the postgraduate student body on the governance board of Hong Kong’s top university this year, one candidate says he is fighting for academic freedom, and independence from the control of the government. Read more.
Turkey’s trampling of freedoms is Europe’s problem too
Johanna Vuorelma, University World News, 10/14
Today’s Turkey is not the same Turkey that I experienced 10 years ago when I first lived there. Those years were filled with optimism, greater civil liberties, significant steps towards democracy, a booming economy and international admiration. Universities had become spaces for critical debates, opening new channels for discussions about some of the most sensitive issues concerning the nation. Read more.
Changes to academic contracts threaten free speech
Katharine Gelber, University World News, 10/14
Some universities are attempting to insert new clauses into their employment contracts that aim to limit academics’ ability to speak freely in public debate. Read more.
Martin Ennals Award 2016 ceremony in short [VIDEO]
Martin Ennals Award, 10/14
Highlight reel of the 2016 Martin Ennals Award ceremony. Jewher Ilham accepted the award on behalf of her father Ilham Tohti, an imprisoned scholar and activist in China. Watch now.
Rights fears over spread of cameras in lecture halls
Mimi Leung, University World News, 10/13
The use of surveillance cameras in university classrooms is spreading in China with students expressing concerns over lack of privacy, and lawyers saying they could violate the constitutional rights of university teachers. Read more.
South Africa’s student protests have become scenes of teargas, arrests, and burning buildings
Lynsey Chutel, Quartz, 10/13
For weeks, learning has given way to mayhem on South Africa’s university campuses. Clashes between students protesting for free education and police have become increasingly intense, marked in recent days by arrests, destruction of property, and the discovery of undetonated petrol bombs on university grounds. Read more.
Academic faces up to 15 years in jail for tweets
University World News, 10/13
United Arab Emirates authorities have violated basic rights in their prosecution of the Emirati academic Dr Nasser bin Ghaith, a coalition of nine human rights organisations said on 13 October. Read more.
China can be world’s academic leader
Asit K. Biswas and Kris Hartley, The Straits Times, 10/13
Its young scholars have better English skills and its universities are rising up the rankings. But Internet censorship and a lack of intellectual freedom are stumbling blocks. Read more.
Turkish Prisons Are Filled With Professors — Like My Father
Merve Reyhan Kayikci, The Huffington Post, 10/11
A Turkish professor who was my father’s colleague and frequently visited our house is now incapable of counting right amount of money to pay for a bottle of water at a prison canteen. He is traumatized as a result of days of harsh treatment during the interrogation. He is sharing a prison cell with my father, longtime friends, in western Turkey. Read more.
Ilham Tohti, Uighur Scholar in Chinese Prison, Is Given Human Rights Award
Nick Cumming-Bruce, The New York Times, 10/11
Two years after the Chinese authorities sentenced the prominent Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti to life imprisonment for promoting separatism and violence, a Swiss-based foundation awarded him a prestigious human rights prize on Tuesday for his efforts to foster dialogue and understanding. Read more.
The Aftermath of Two Attacks
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 10/10
American U of Afghanistan plans “radical” security changes when it resumes classes. Some question whether university did enough to protect students and professors in dangerous part of the world. Read more.
Deported activist talks to student massacre memorial
Yojana Sharma and Mimi Leung, University World News, 10/07
Bangkok’s two main universities this week marked the 40th anniversary of the Thammasat University massacre, when students at the university who had been protesting for weeks in 1976 were beaten, burnt alive, hung from nearby trees or shot by militias, a traumatic event in Thai history. Read more.
South African student leaders vow to continue tuition fee protests
Jason Burke, The Guardian, 10/07
Universities say they cannot make further concessions as last year’s fee freeze has put their finances under great strain. Read more.
N Korean leader says university must be ‘world class’
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 10/07
North Korea’s top higher education institution, Kim Il-sung University in the capital Pyongyang, must advance to become a “world-class institution”, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said in a letter to students, staff and professors of Pyongyang’s institution. Read more.
Former HKU Law Dean Charges Chief Executive with Political Interference
Asia Sentinel, 10/05
Johannes Chan, the former dean of the Hong Kong University law faculty who was denied appointment as a vice chancellor a year ago, has taken aim at Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for academic interference in university affairs. Read more.
Report of the 2016 SAR Global Congress
Scholars at Risk, 10/04
SAR is pleased to share the report of our eighth Global Congress, held June 7-10 in Montreal, Canada in partnership with the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill Faculty of Law, and SAR Canada Section. Read more.
Aleppo University under rebel attack
ARA News, 10/04
Syrian rebels struck Aleppo University with rockets on Tuesday. Local sources reported that the missiles had killed and wounded a number of civilians. Read more.
Ethiopia arrests blogger, academic critical of government
Associated Press, 10/04
Ethiopian police have arrested a blogger who criticized the government, especially its handling of the ongoing protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. Read more.
‘Wonderful to be home’ says freed academic Homa Hoodfar
An Iranian-Canadian academic recently released from more than three months of detention in Iran said on Thursday that “it’s wonderful to be home”. Read more.
Constraints on Chinese Campuses
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 09/29
U.S. Government Accountability Office examines American universities’ policies and practices on academic and other freedoms for their educational programs in China. Read more.
No Acquittal for 4 Signatory Academics in 2nd Hearing
Beyza Kural, Bianet, 09/27
Attorneys have demanded acquittal of peace declaration signatories Esra Mungan, Meral Camcı, Kıvanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya in the second hearing, the court adjourned the hearing to December 22. Read more.
Faculty, students say space for free thinking shrinking
Ashok Kumar, The Hindu, 09/27
The uproar over the enactment of a play based on Mahasweta Devi’s short story ‘Draupadi’ at Central University of Haryana has left the faculty and students scared to discuss sensitive issues in classrooms or on campus. Read more.
Two Years After a Night of Horror, Mexican Students Seek Answers
Kirk Semple and Paulina Villegas, The New York Times, 09/26
Two years after 43 Mexican college students disappeared during a night of violence committed, in part, by security forces, the mystery of their fate remains unsolved. Read more.
South Africa Universities Close Amid Violent Tuition Protests
Anita Powell, Voice of America, 09/26
Like many South African university students, Nontsikelelo Selleo is angry. And, like many young black South Africans, she says she struggles financially, but has yet to see the equality and prosperity promised with the end of apartheid two decades ago. Read more.
Giving succour to scientists
Rose Anderson, Chemistry World, 09/23
The UN estimates there are currently more than 20 million refugees worldwide, as more people than ever are risking their lives to flee oppression and conflict. And among them are record numbers of students and scholars. Read more.
‘Fees Must Fall’: Anatomy of the Student Protests in South Africa
Christine Hauser, The New York Times, 09/22
University students protested in South Africa for at least a second day this week over plans to increase fees at the country’s colleges in 2017. The protests, which erupted in September, have turned violent as students have clashed with the police. Read more.
Academic freedom in Palestine questioned as British scholar is banned from West Bank
Rima Amin, IFP, 09/22
On 12 September, British academic Dr Adam Hanieh was detained at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and banned from entering Israel for 10 years. The SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) academic had been invited to the West Bank by the PhD programme in social sciences at Birzeit University to deliver a series of lectures. Read more.
Former IC visiting scholar imprisoned by Turkish government
Grace Elletson, The Ithacan, 09/21
Vedat Demir, who was a visiting scholar-in-residence at Ithaca College from 2012–14 and researched political communication in federal election campaigns, has been imprisoned in Turkey without a set end-date. Read more.
China Wants You to Forget Ilham Tohti
Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch, 09/20
It’s been two years since Ilham Tohti, a well-regarded ethnic Uyghur economist and peaceful critic of the Chinese government, was sentenced to life in prison by the Xinjiang People’s High Court for alleged “separatism” after a grossly unfair trial. Read more.
German Universities unite to provide more support for threatened researchers
Scholars at Risk, 09/20
Their countries are plagued by war, the freedom of their research is restricted or they are subject to persecution: in many parts of the world, academics are at risk. But how can we best support these researchers? Can German universities provide a safe haven for them to continue their work? Read more.
Dr Nasser Bin Ghaith’s case to be brought to court again on 26 September
Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith is scheduled to appear before the State Security Chamber of the Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi on 26 September. He is a prisoner of conscience and faces charges relating solely to the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association. Read more.
Repression of Turkish intellectuals elicits global response
Cengiz Candar, Al-Monitor, 09/15
Nobel laureates, intelligentsia and celebrities around the world unite against the arbitrary detention of Turkish authors. Read more.
The world must step up for Homa Hoodfar
Alex Neve, The Globe and Mail, 09/14
When Dr. Homa Hoodfar was arrested in Iran 100 days ago, the circumstances and motivation behind her unfounded and illegal imprisonment were far from clear. Read more.
Opinion: Turkey’s Scientists Under Pressure
Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R. Johnson and Kirstin R.W. Matthews, The Scientist, 09/14
The embattled country’s research enterprise is at risk following a failed coup, designed to overthrow a regime that shows continued hostility toward science. Read more.
Fighting to free detained scholars abroad a vexing issue for universities
Carl Meye, University Affairs, 09/14
The plight of Concordia professor Homa Hoodfar in Iran has once again brought up the question of what universities can do to protect scholars detained abroad. Read more.
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 09/13
Open-records requests involving a SUNY Plattsburgh professor who backs the Israel boycott follow pattern of challenges to faculty members with controversial views on a range of issues. Read more.
Of Architecture Projects and Academic Freedom
Tarek Abd El-Galil, Al-Fanar Media, 09/12
The German University in Cairo ended its contract with Tarek Abol Naga, a professor of architecture at the university, after some senior projects he supervised were deemed “immoral.” Read more.
Violence adds to pressure for HE reform bill changes
María Elena Hurtado, University World News, 09/09*
August was coming to an end when a group of angry students barged into the office of Eduardo Silva, rector of the Jesuit university Universidad Alberto Hurtado, in Santiago, Chile. In an email, Silva told colleagues that 70 students “intimidated, scared and insulted” him, administrative personnel and academics working on his floor. Read more.
Law library torched, students arrested in fees protests
Munyaradzi Makoni, University World News, 09/09
Academic activities at all five campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa have been suspended after two weeks of violent protest which saw the torching of one of the country’s finest law libraries on the Howard College campus in Durban. Read more.
Concerns Continue About Climate for Academics in Turkey
Inside Higher Ed, 09/08
Letters and statements expressing concern about the climate for academics in Turkey continue to accumulate after the announcement last week that 2,346 academics had been fired for alleged links to the July 15 coup attempt. Read more.
Student movement’s legacy is a new political order
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 09/07
The 2014-15 student-led pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong known as Occupy Central or the Umbrella Movement has led to a dramatic change in the Hong Kong political landscape with a number of the movement’s activists gaining seats in Legislative Council elections. Read more.
Research: No man’s land in Egypt
Aya Nader, Al-Monitor, 09/06
Rather than being appreciated as a way to advance the nation, research — whether political, academic or scientific — is seen as a threat to national security. Read more.
Russian research institute under threat
Roman Goncharenko, Deutsche Welle, 09/06
Just two weeks before parliamentary elections, a renowned independent polling organization faces a government threat. Experts and politicians are alarmed, including in Germany. Read more.
Iran: Student activist and WHRD Bahareh Hedayat released
Gulf Center for Human Rights, 09/05
After 2,410 days of imprisonment, student activist and women human rights defender Bahareh Hedayat has been released from Evin prison in Iran. Read more.
We can’t delay: Homa Hoodfar must be freed
Charles Taylor, The Globe and Mail, 09/02
On June 6, 2016, Concordia University professor Homa Hoodfar was arrested and detained in Iran’s Evin Prison by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. And five days later, she was indicted on unknown charges, though a number of reports by conservative Iranian news outlets claim that she is suspected of “dabbling in feminism and security matters.” Read more.
Colombian Political Prisoner and Professor Freed From Prison
Miguel Angel Beltran was accused of being a member of the FARC but the Supreme Court ruled the evidence to convict him was faulty. Read more.
How Political Correctness Chills Speech on Campus
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, 09/01
A documentary film-maker was disinvited from an academic conference because an organizer feared she would be subject to ideologically motivated reprisals for hosting him. Read more.
Purges Since Coup Attempt in Turkey Shake Higher Education
With the summer holiday almost over, computer science student Hande Tekiner should be gearing up for a year of cram sessions and late-night homework. Instead, she may have nowhere to return to, because her university was shut after Turkey’s failed coup. Read more.
Iran releases physicist after five years in jail
Michele Catanzaro, Nature, 08/29
Omid Kokabee, who became seriously ill while serving time on controversial treason charges, will now be allowed to leave the country. Read more.
Exiled Syrian Engineer Designs Wheelchair Upgrade
Benjamin Plackett, Al-Fanar Media, 08/29
Back in 2012, when protests had turned to revolution, engineering lecturer and researcher Tarek Kasmieh began to look for a way out of Syria. Read more.
Free Expression in Peril
Geoffrey Stone, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 08/26
Until recently, and for roughly half a century, American universities enjoyed an era of relatively robust academic freedom. In the past few years, though, that has changed. Read more.
Universities warned about ‘independence’ discussions
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 08/25
When Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying met with leaders of the governing councils of Hong Kong’s eight public universities last week, just weeks before Hong Kong’s Legislative Council elections on 4 September, students were alarmed it was an attempt by China to put pressure on universities to curb overt displays of “pro-independence” sentiment on campuses. Read more.
American U of Afghanistan Attacked
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 08/25
Thirteen people reported killed in attack by gunmen that came weeks after two foreign professors were kidnapped. Seven students among the dead, as is instructor who studied in U.S. Read more.
In University Purge, Turkey’s Erdogan Hits Secularists and Boosts Conservatives
Joe Parkinson and Emre Peker, The Wall Street Journal, 08/24
Crackdown, which has snagged associates of imam Fethullah Gulen and others, is designed to remake country’s higher education in president’s image. Read more.
Thai Student Activist Released on Bail, Detained Again
Inside Higher Ed, 08/23
A hunger-striking student activist in Thailand was released on bail Friday only to be detained again on another charge, the Bangkok Post reported. Read more.
Chemists in Turkey, including those who dropped out of #ACSPhilly, cope with political purging
Jyllian Kemsley, Chemical & Engineering News, 08/22
Seven scientists from Turkey withdrew from presenting at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia this week, according to the society’s Membership & Scientific Advancement Division. Read more.
The Ethical Minefield of International Partnerships
Burton Bollag, Al-Fanar Media, 08/19
The view that every international partnership is a force for good has been replaced by a more cautious approach reflecting core academic values. Read more.
Academic Freedom in a Globalized World
Lisa Anderson, Science & Diplomacy, 08/18
In the face of the egregious encroachment of academic freedom, violations will only grow as terrorism drives government policies globally. Should associations and academies vigorously engage in the securitization of research? Read more.
Azerbaijani University Fires Turkish Instructors Over Alleged Gulen Links
Radio Free Europe, 08/17
A university in Azerbaijan has fired 50 Turkish educators for alleged links with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for an unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey in July. Read more.
The Bahrain 13: One year since Index magazine sent to jailed academic and blogger
Ryan McChrystal, Index on Censorship, 08/17
In August 2015, Index editor Rachael Jolley sent a copy of the magazine to jailed academic Abduljalil al-Singace, a member of the Bahrain 13. One year on, eleven of the group of jailed activists remain in prison. Read more.
Thailand can’t afford to silence activists like ‘Phai’
Nidhi Eawsriwong, Bangkok Post, 08/17
Khon Kaen University law student Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, also known as “Phai Dao Din”, is an anti-coup activist who has the most vivid notions about the need to integrate political, social, economic and cultural contexts into Thailand’s lawmaking or the interpretation of existing law. Read more.
NASA scientist detained in Turkey following failed coup
Andrew Grant, Physics, 08/16
A NASA physicist has been arrested and detained in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed 15 July coup, according to Turkish media outlets and evidence from multiple sources. Read more.
After the Abductions in Afghanistan
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 08/15
Kidnapping of two faculty members at the American University of Afghanistan renews attention on the risks confronting universities in conflict zones. Read more.
Chinese Court Upholds Ruling Against Historian Who Questioned Tale of Wartime Heroes
Kiki Zhao, The New York Times, 08/15
In a tale taught to generations of Chinese schoolchildren and celebrated in film, theater and paintings, five Communist soldiers who had fought off the Japanese invaders in World War II, killing dozens, chose to leap off Langya Mountain, shouting “Long live the Chinese Communist Party!” rather than surrender. Read more.
‘Witch-hunt’ against academics continues following attempted Turkey coup
Cem Oyvat, Times Higher Education, 08/11
Last week, Marxist historian Candan Badem of Tunceli University was taken into custody, accused of attending the attempted military coup in Turkey. A book by Fethullah Gulen that was found in his office was used as evidence linking Badem with the Gulen movement, which the Turkish president has accused of being behind the attempted coup. Read more.
American University in Kabul reopens after kidnappings, but campuses feel chill
Pamela Constable, The Washington Post, 08/11
Just three days after gunmen kidnapped two foreign professors near the American University of Afghanistan, one American and one Australian, the prestigious institution reopened its carefully guarded campus here this week, and officials vowed not to let the unsolved crime disrupt its mission to prepare some of the war-torn nation’s brightest young people for professional careers. Read more.
Yavuz Baydar: As academic freedom recedes, intellectuals begin an exodus from Turkey
Yavuz Baydar, Index on Censorship, 08/10
The stream may be small right now, a trickle, but it is unmistakable. Turkey’s academics and secular elite are quietly and slowly making their way for the exits. Read more.
Professors who ban guns in their classrooms will be punished, UT lawyer says
Lauren McGaughy, The Dallas Morning News, 08/09
Three professors duking it out in court for the right to ban guns in their classrooms were told Monday they will be punished if they do, according to the latest legal back-and-forth prompted by Texas’ new campus carry law. Read more.
How Turkey’s Accusations Against Academics in Wake of Coup Attempt Echo Iran’s Practices
Haleh Esfandiari, The Wall Street Journal, 08/09
Turkey has contracted Iran’s paranoia. Unable or unwilling to believe that Turkish citizens might independently act against their government, authorities in Istanbul have accused the U.S. government of aiding the military’s recent coup attempt and have sought to extradite a cleric living in Pennsylvania. Pro-government Turkish newspapers have also–and improbably–implicated a group of academics from Turkey, the U.S., and other countries who happened to be in Turkey when the coup effort occurred. Read more.
Detained Isaan anti-junta activist vows to go on hunger strike
A well-known anti-junta activist from Isaan, Thailand’s northeast, arrested one day before the referendum, has vowed not to request bail and to go on hunger strike to point out the broken justice system in Thailand. Read more.
Turkey’s higher education chief defends purge
Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 08/05
In a statement, M. A. Yekta Saraç said that the decision to ask all university deans to resign was one of several “precautionary measures” taken with the “utmost sincerity” to allow Turkey to root out backers of the US-based Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of masterminding the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Read more.
Drastic reforms revealed: University of Hong Kong’s plan to give two people final say on hiring all new professors
Danny Lee, South China Morning Post, 08/05
The University of Hong Kong is proposing drastic reforms in hiring academic staff that would concentrate power in the hands of its top guns and could spark a further backlash among those who see it as a means of political screening. Read more.
Universities Struggle to Meet Syrian Refugee Education Gap
John Owens, Voice of America, 08/03
Before he was driven out of Syria by the war, Amer Horani’s status as a student was a source of great pride. The first to go to university in his family, he began studying psychology at Damascus University in 2012 and dreamed of using his education to help others. Then a friend, a fellow student, disappeared. Read more.
Malaysia: New Law Gives Government Sweeping Powers
Human Rights Watch, 08/02
Malaysia’s new National Security Council (NSC) Act, which came into force on August 1, 2016, is a tool for repression that should be immediately repealed, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should instead revise its laws to incorporate international human rights standards into the effort to counter terrorism. Read more.
Thai universities silence voices against draft charter, referendum
At least four universities in Thailand have complied with the junta’s censorship measures by prohibiting their students and lecturers from discussing the junta-sponsored draft charter and the August referendum. Read more.
PNG universities to restart academic year after months of cancellations following political upheaval
Liam Fox, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 08/01
The Papua New Guinea Government has announced a plan to resurrect the academic year at the country’s three main universities after they were shutdown due to political protests and outbreaks of violence. Read more.
As campus carry becomes Texas law, memories of UT Tower massacre linger
Tom Dart, The Guardian, 07/31
Monday marks 50 years since the first US mass shooting of the modern era. It also brings a controversial gun law to campuses across the Lone Star State. Read more.
After failed coup, Turkey’s academics feel regime’s wrath
John Bohannon, Science, 07/29
Last week’s failed coup attempt in Turkey lasted just a day, but the pain has only begun for Turkish academics. Read more.
Turkey’s Fraying International Ties
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 07/29
A crackdown on Turkey’s higher education sector after a failed coup has far-reaching effects for fraying academic collaboration and exchange. Read more.
An Obituary for History
J. Mark Leslie, Inside Higher Ed, 07/28
Lincoln University’s decision to suspend its history major ignores W. E. B. Du Bois’s belief in the power of history to shape lives in the present and his vision of the university as a center to help reconstruct the world, argues J. Mark Leslie. Read more.
Students Rally against Crackdown on Turkish Professors and Academic Freedom
Henry Karmens, New Eastern Outlook, 07/28
What is now happening in Turkey has happened before, but it is a relief to find that a generation raised on so-called Western-style education are now speaking out in support of Turkish professors and others who have become victims of the backlash following the failed “coup attempt.” Read more.
Turkey’s post-coup purge furthers state aim of a subservient sector
Mehmet Ugur, Times Higher Education, 07/28
The major casualty of the restoration after the botched coup in Turkey has been the education system in general and higher education in particular. Read more.
Texas Picked an Ominous Date to Arm its Public Colleges
Rosa A. Eberly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 07/27
In what appears to be an audacious act of public forgetting, a controversial Texas campus-carry law allowing concealed guns in university buildings is scheduled to take effect on Monday, August 1, the 50th anniversary of the University of Texas tower shootings. Read more.
Truth, Knowledge, and Academic Freedom
David Moshman, Huffington Post, 07/26
Microaggressions. Trigger warnings. Safe spaces. These are among the latest entries in the ever-expanding lexicon of campus censorship. There appears to be a new free speech crisis on campus, and it seems largely due to demands from a new generation of students to be protected from offensive ideas, emotional triggers, and feelings of being intellectually unsafe. Read more.
Speaker Uninvited to Academic Freedom Event
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 07/25
The University of Cape Town has disinvited a speaker set to give its annual TB Davie Academic Freedom Lecture for fear of security risks and the possibility of provoking conflict and further polarization on campus. Read more.
Turkish Academics Pay Harsh Penalties for Failed Coup
Ursula Lindsey, Al-Fanar Media, 07/23
Turkey’s already embattled universities now face the fall-out from a failed military coup. Just days after part of Turkey’s army attempted to overthrow the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the authorities called for the resignation of the country’s 1,577 deans and issued a travel ban for professors, calling on those outside the country to immediately return. Read more.
Turkey’s University Leaders Are Expected to Face Loyalty Inquiries
Paul Basken, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 07/21
The Turkish government’s post-coup demand for the resignations of 1,500 university deans appears to be a blanket measure that will allow for case-by-case examinations of political loyalty, Turkish experts on the country said on Wednesday. Read more.
Displaced Iraqi Students Struggle to Continue their Studies
Abd Al Rasheed Al Salih, Al-Fanar Media, 07/21
Amal Hadi, a university student from Fallujah, could not achieve her dream of completing her undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Law. She and her family were displaced from the city, which was overrun by Islamic State (ISIS) forces two years ago. Read more.
Hong Kong: Guilty verdicts against student leaders latest blow for freedom of expression
Amnesty International, 07/21
The Hong Kong authorities’ prosecution of three pro-democracy student leaders sends a chilling warning for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the city, Amnesty International said today, after Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law were found guilty for their roles in events that triggered 2014’s Umbrella Movement. Read more.
‘Unprecedented’ Purge in Turkey
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 07/20
Turkey’s Higher Education Council demands the resignation of more than 1,500 deans following Friday’s failed coup attempt. Read more.
This Organization is Rescuing Artists and Scholars from Syria and Iraq
Anna Wallace-Thomas, Artsy, 07/19
While much has been made of the destruction of the great cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq (and rightly so), receiving less bandwidth are the consequences these upheavals will have for the ability to rebuild one day in the future. An optimistic note, however, comes in the form of an effort to save scholars and artists in those war-torn regions. Read more.
NC State’s student speech policy changed, lawsuit dismissed
Anne Blythe, The News & Observer, 07/19
A student Christian organization at N.C. State University says it has dropped its lawsuit against four campus administrators because the university has changed its policies on student speech on campus. Read more.
Pune: Gag order on meteorologists on sharing research with the media
Nisha Nambiar, The Indian Express, 07/18
Meteorologists from various institutions across the country have been asked to maintain ‘restrain’ while sharing their findings with the media after the ministry of environment, forests and climate change recently ‘rejected’ a research paper on mortality due to air pollution in India. Read more.
Universities to vet foreign students for ISIS links
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 07/18
The Malaysian government has told universities in the country – including private universities and foreign branch campuses – to step up monitoring of students to prevent Islamic radicalisation after recent attacks in Malaysia and Bangladesh. Read more.
Saudi Arabia: Male Guardianship Boxes Women In
Human Rights Watch, 07/16
Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry, or be released from prison, and may be required to provide guardian consent to work or get health care. Read more.
PhD scholarship scheme provides support for refugees in ‘despair’
Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 07/14
Two recipients of a new initiative at Portsmouth Business School describe their experience of joining a UK university. Read more.
Russia: Government against Rights Groups
Human Rights Watch, 07/14
In 2012 Russia’s parliament adopted a law that required nongovernmental organizations (NGO)s to register as “foreign agents” with the Ministry of Justice if they engage in “political activity” and receive foreign funding. The definition of “political activity” under the law is so broad and vague that it can extend to all aspects of advocacy and human rights work. Read more.
UT-Austin Faculty Can Ban Guns in Offices
Madeline Conway, The Texas Tribune, 07/13
The University of Texas at Austin will give its faculty and staff the option of banning guns from their private offices when the state’s campus carry law goes into effect next month, under regulations that UT System regents passed Wednesday. Read more.
Turkey’s fight against academic freedom
Heinrich Böll Stiftung, 07/13
Since signing a public call for peace in January, 2218 researchers and academicians have faced an unprecedented amount of pressure including disciplinary and criminal proceedings. Read more.
In a Time of Tension, Universities Craft New Free-Speech Policies
Arielle Martinez, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 07/12
If things had gone according to the administration’s plans, the 24-campus City University of New York would have a new free-speech policy by now. But that didn’t happen. Read more.
Hundreds disappeared and tortured amid wave of brutal repression in Egypt
Amnesty International, 07/11
A new Amnesty International report “reveals a trend which has seen hundreds of students, political activists and protesters, including children as young as 14, vanish without trace at the hands of the state. Read more.
Canadian Academic Homa Hoodfar indicted on unknown charges in Iran
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Globe and Mail, 07/11
A Montreal-based university professor being held in an Iranian jail is now reportedly facing charges, but her relatives say they haven’t received word about the nature of any accusations. Read more.
Identity politics and student protest movements
James Buchanan, University World News, 07/08
Student activists in Thailand face arrest and are shunned by the wider student population while those in Hong Kong have won widespread support. Why? Read more.
Three UT Professors Sue to Block Campus Carry Law
Matthew Watkins, The Texas Tribune, 07/06
Three University of Texas at Austin professors sued their university and the state on Wednesday, claiming Texas’ new campus carry law is forcing the school to impose “overly-solicitous, dangerously-experimental gun policies” that violate the First and Second Amendments. Read more.
Thai court frees student constitution protesters
Associated Press, 07/05
A court in Thailand on Tuesday ordered the release of seven students who were arrested last month for distributing leaflets urging people to vote against a proposed new constitution in a referendum next month. Read more.
University of Papua New Guinea abandons academic year after student unrest, says chancellor
Eric Tlozek, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 07/05
The administrators of Papua New Guinea’s biggest university say mob violence and student unrest has forced them to abandon the academic year. Read more.
Ben-Gurion University Slammed for Nixing Breaking the Silence’s Prize
Or Kashti, Haaretz, 07/05
Middle East Studies Association writes to the university’s president, Prof. Rivka Carmi, in which it calls the incident an unprecedented level of administrative interference and an infringement of academic freedom. Read more.
Shielding Students from Dictators
Burton Bollag, Al-Fanar Media, 07/03
Across the world, when people protest against unpopular governments, students are often on the front lines. “Students are agents of change,” says Inga Marie Nymo Riseth, president of the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund. “Throughout history, students have always been attacked for this.” Read more.
It’s Time To End The Boycott Of Iraqi And Syrian Academics
Zainab Bahrani, Huffington Post, 07/01
Near the city of Mosul in northern Iraq lies the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, established 879 years before Christ. Last month ISIS blew up the Temple of Nabu, one of the crowning jewels of the royal capital. Nabu was the ancient Mesopotamian god of writing and scholarship. Read more.
Court releases two campaigners arrested on terror charges after ‘editor-in-chief on duty’ campaign
Hurriyet Daily News, 06/30
Two of the three campaigners who were arrested on charges of “making terror propaganda” after supporting a solidarity campaign with daily Özgür Gündem were released pending trial on June 30. Read more.
When Student Activists Refuse to Talk to Campus Newspapers
Kate Talerico, The Atlantic, 06/30
With the rise of social media, young people have a mouthpiece of their own and little incentive to help reform an institution they’ve criticized. Read more.
Burma: Dismantle Infrastructure of Repression
Human Rights Watch, 06/29
Burma’s new government should use its parliamentary majority to repeal or amend the many military and colonial-era laws used to criminalize peaceful speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Read more.
Angola court orders conditional release of jailed activist book club
The Guardian, 06/29
Seventeen young activists to be released three months after they were arrested during meeting to discuss nonviolent resistance to repressive regimes. Read more.
Chinese Court Orders Apology Over Challenge to Tale of Wartime Heroes
Kiki Zhao, The New York Times, 06/28
For decades, the “Five Heroes of Langya Mountain” have been presented as courageous examples of how the Communist-led Eighth Route Army fought for the Chinese people against the Japanese invaders in World War II. Read more.
Ethiopia Federal Court Adjourned Bekele Gerba Et.Al for Verdict
Mahlet Fasil, Addis Standard, 06/27
Judges at the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench here in the capital have today adjourned the hearing until August 01, 20016 to give verdict involving the case for high level opposition figures. Read more.
Canadian professor jailed in Iran for ‘dabbling in feminism,’ family says
Morgan Lowrie, The Globe and Mail, 06/26
A Montreal-based university professor being held in an Iranian jail is being investigated for “dabbling in feminism and security matters,” according to her family. Read more.
Fire, freedom and disrepair
Zenobia Ismail, University World News, 06/24
The wave of violent protests at South African universities and the frequent use of fire as a weapon have provoked much analysis of fire as an idiom for political change in South Africa. Read more.
‘Vote No’ campaigners to be tried by military
Teeranai Charuvastra, Khaosod, 06/24
Thirteen activists arrested Thursday for campaigning against the junta-backed constitution will stand trial before a military tribunal on charges of violating the ban on political protests. Read more.
UAE: Human rights defender Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith remains in prison as trial continues
Gulf Center for Human Rights, 06/23
On 20 June 2016, a third hearing took place in the United Arab Emirates to examine charges against human rights defender and academic Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith relating to his online postings. Reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) confirmed that Dr. Bin Ghaith himself appeared before the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, which decided to adjourn the trial to 26 September 2016. Read more.
Turkey acquits British academic over ‘terror’ leaflets charge
Associated Press via The Guardian, 06/23
An Istanbul court on Thursday acquitted a British academic who has had his base in Turkey for 25 years, and who, this spring, was accused of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”. Read more.
Editorial: A plea for Homa Hoodfar
Montreal Gazette Editorial Board, Montreal Gazette, 06/21
By all accounts, retired Concordia University professor Homa Hoodfar was visiting her native Iran to reconnect with a country she loves and continue her research on women in public life. That she now finds herself detained at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, long associated with torture and death, is as outrageous as it is terrifying. Read more.
Turkish university professor sacked for insulting President Erdoğan during lecture
Elsa Vulliamy, The Independent, 06/21
Legal action may be taken against communications professor who allegedly made ‘vulgar’ and ‘rude’ remarks about Turkish president. Read more.
Turkey: Rights Defenders, Journalists Jailed
Human Rights Watch, 06/20
An academic and two journalists who have played a key role in Turkey’s human rights movement have been jailed pending investigation into spurious allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda. Read more.
A Conversation With a Scholar Who Has Been Sentenced to Death
Burton Bullag, Al-Fanar Media, 6/19
One of the most prominent targets of the Egyptian government’s crackdown on the academic community has been political scientist Emad El-Din Shahin. A professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo, he was outside the country lecturing on the peaceful resolution of conflict when he heard that he had been indicted for conspiring with foreign organizations to undermine Egypt’s national security. Read more.
Can we scale up the support for at-risk scholars and students?
Marit Egner, European Association for International Education, 06/16
Last week, special attention was paid to students and scholars having to leave their home country due to risk and persecution – both at the EAIE Spotlight Seminar in Amsterdam and at the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Global Congress 8–10 June in Montréal. At the SAR Global Congress – where I chaired a session on refugees and our Forum on Internationalisation in a conflicted world was distributed – a major focus point was the fact that the need for support is growing fast. It is up to our institutions to respond accordingly. Read more.
Academic dismissed from Bilgi University over ‘insulting Erdoğan’
Turkish Minute, 06/16
Zeynep Sayın Balıkçıoğlu, an academic at the Bilgi University in İstanbul, was dismissed from the university over allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a lecture. Read more.
Protecting Values in Overseas Ventures
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 06/15
Bard College offers dual degrees in cooperation with universities in Kyrgyzstan, Russia and the West Bank. In a panel discussion last week, Jonathan Becker, Bard’s vice president for academic affairs and director of its Center for Civic Engagement, began his remarks by discussing another of the college’s locations. Read more.
Papua New Guinea: Dozens of University of Goroka students injured in boycott fight
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 06/15
Tensions have boiled over among students at Papua New Guinea universities over whether to continue their boycott of classes in protest against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Read more.
Courage to Think Defender Award Given to Egyptian Scholars and Students
Burton Bollag, Al-Fanar Media, 06/14
An international network that helps persecuted academics and fights for the universal right to academic freedom has presented its highest award to “Egypt’s wrongfully detained students and scholars.” Read more.
Concordia community rallying to secure release of professor arrested in Iran
Karen Seidman, Montreal Gazette, 06/13
Bring Homa home. That is the urgent message from colleagues at Concordia University and around the world as pressure mounts to secure the release of Concordia University professor emerita Homa Hoodfar, 65, who has been detained in a notorious Iranian prison since last Monday. Read more.
‘Universities in a Dangerous World’
Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 06/10
During the time attendees have been gathered for the biennial Scholars at Risk congress, news broke that a professor from Montreal’s Concordia University has been imprisoned in Iran. A leader of a Pakistani law college was shot dead by unknown assailants on motorcycles. An Israeli sociology and anthropology professor was among those killed in an attack by Palestinian gunmen on a Tel Aviv restaurant and shopping complex. Read more.
The Chilling Effect of Fear at America’s Colleges
Jonathan R. Cole, The Atlantic, 06/09
The coddling of students’ minds has resulted in grave restrictions of free speech on campus—but academic leaders are also to blame. Read more.
La Trobe lifts suspension on Safe Schools academic Roz Ward
Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian, 06/03
La Trobe University has withdrawn its suspension of the academic Roz Ward, because a high-profile legal battle would be against the university’s interests, vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar has said. Read more.
NISS detain students, disperse marchers in Khartoum
At least two students were detained in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Wednesday at a peaceful march organised by the Darfuri university students’ associations. Read more.
Special Report: After university crackdown, Egyptian students fear for their future
Amina Ismail, Reuters, 06/01
In June 2014, 23-year-old engineering student Mohammed Badawy was expelled from Cairo University. The university said it ejected him for obstructing the education process, and for rioting and destruction at a protest against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government. Badawy said it was because he protested against the government and supported the Muslim Brotherhood, a political movement that the Egyptian government has banned as a terrorist organization. Read more.
Call for students to unite behind one global voice
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 06/01
The European Students’ Union, or ESU, has become the first student organisation to formally adopt ‘the Bergen Declaration’, a global student declaration in defence of the right to higher education and against commodification, drafted by student activists from around the world, and aimed at creating a global student movement. Read more.
Making the Case for Nominating Ilham Tohti for the Sakharov Prize
Yaxue Cao, China Change, 05/31
I’m not always acutely aware of identity as a Han Chinese, but this is one of those few occasions when I am. I am deeply honored to be here, speaking about Ilham Tohti. You will see why. Read more.
US citizen barred entry to Egypt due to ‘national security’ concerns
Mada Masr, 05/27
US citizen Ada Petiwala was refused entry to Egypt on Tuesday, after being detained and interrogated at Cairo International Airport, and was told she is banned from entering the country again as she is considered a problem for national security. Read more.
Imperilled academics: How Oxford is helping those suffering persecution
Olivia Gordon, Oxford Today, 05/27
The University is working with the Council for At-Risk Academics, whose first appeal was led by Einstein in 1933, to open its doors to academics who are endangered in their home countries. Other notable émigrés who have found sanctuary at Oxford include Aung San Suu Kyi, Sir Isaiah Berlin, and Leszek Kolakowski. Read more.
Glimmer of hope for student movement amid military clampdown
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 05/27
Two years after the May 2014 military coup, Thailand’s student movement has shrunk to a few dozen activists amid a clampdown by the ruling junta on campus activities. Read more.
Government to ban academics from political activity
Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 05/26
The government is seeking a blanket curb on the political activity of academics in a bill drafted to tighten the disciplinary system in universities. Read more.
Jailed Iranian physicist released on bail
Michele Catanzaro, Nature, 05/25
Omid Kokabee, a former physics PhD student who has been in prison for more than five years in Iran, has been granted a brief medical leave on bail to recover from kidney-cancer surgery, sources close to the situation tell Nature. Read more.
Sudan: Students, Activists at Risk of Torture
Human Rights Watch, 05/25
Sudanese national security officials have detained dozens of students and activists – many of whom are still in custody – without charge since mid-April 2016, during protests on university campuses. Read more.
No country for academics: Chinese crackdown forces intellectuals abroad
Tom Phillips and Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, 05/24
As Chinese activist and scholar Teng Biao sat at home on the east coast of America, more than 13,000km (8,000 miles) away his wife and nine-year-old daughter were preparing to embark on the most dangerous journey of their lives. Read more.
Human Rights Watch, 05/24
Freedom of expression is protected under the Indian constitution and international treaties to which India is a party. Politicians, pundits, activists, and the general public engage in vigorous debate through newspapers, television, and the Internet, including social media. Successive governments have made commitments to protect freedom of expression. Read more.
Syria’s exiled academics tell their stories
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 05/22
A new collection showcases the stories and research of seven Syrian academics who have been able to start rebuilding their careers in exile. Read more.
Students freed from prison set out goals for future action
Sithu Aung Myint, University World News, 05/20
One of the first acts by Myanmar’s new government headed by the National League for Democracy’s Aung San Suu Kyi was to grant amnesty to politicians, activists and students jailed by the previous military regime – including leaders of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions or ABFSU, and the University Students’ Union known locally as Ta Ka Tha. Read more.
Rights groups voice concerns for safety of detained Sudan students
Middle East Online, 05/18
Joint statement says that there are serious concerns for safety of 12 students who have been denied access to their families, lawyers. Read more.
Amnesty International: ‘Failure to chart a new direction’ in Myanmar
Sarah Steffen, Deutsche Welle, 03/18
Hopes are high for Myanmar, which has now elected its first civilian president after decades of military rule. But the crackdown on student protesters continues, says Amnesty International’s Jasmine Heiss. Read more.
UK academic slams ‘ridiculous’ deportation from Turkey
Agence France-Presse, 03/17
A British university professor who says he was deported from Turkey for “terrorist propaganda” told AFP on Thursday he would appeal the “ridiculous” ruling in order to be reunited with his family. Read more.
Turkey: Academics Jailed For Signing Petition
Human Rights Watch, 03/16
In the latest attack on free speech in Turkey, three academics who signed a peace petition in January 2016 have been jailed by an Istanbul court on suspicion of “making terrorist propaganda.” The three were jailed on March 15, 2016, pending the completion of a criminal investigation. Read more.
Kanhaiya Kumar: India ‘sedition’ student may be expelled
A student leader from a top university in India charged with sedition may be expelled from campus, reports say. Read more.
Legal Restrictions on Thought & Expression in Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand, and Bahrain [Video]
National Endowment for Democracy, 03/14
In a number of countries, counter-terrorism, blasphemy, sedition and similar laws are increasingly used to restrict free inquiry and expression, resulting in a shrinking academic and societal space for dialogue. Watch now.
In quest of academic freedom
Dr. Naazir Mahmood, The News on Sunday, 03/13
An education Expo in Islamabad discusses some pertinent issues confronting the discipline of Social Sciences in the country. Read more.
Calls for prosecution over PhD thesis on Soviet traitor
Nick Holdsworth, University World News, 03/11
A leading historian of Russia’s little known wartime collaboration with Nazi Germany is facing calls for a criminal investigation after defending his PhD thesis on a Red Army general who turned traitor against Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Read more.