Academic Freedom Media Review

May 13 – 19, 2017

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.

Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the reports below reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the  views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Subscribe to SAR’s media review.

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.

*Not featured in the May 12 edition of the Academic Freedom Media Review