Academic Freedom Media Review

January 5 – 11, 2019

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.

The fate of academic freedom in Thailand
Tyrell Haberkorn, East Asia Forum, 1/10
On 11 December 2018 Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha promulgated Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 22/2561, which ostensibly relaxed restrictions on civilian participation in politics ahead of the elections planned for February 2019.  Read more.

Swedish Physician/Professor In Very Bad Health in Iranian Prison: 124 Nobel Laureates Call for His Release
Committee of Concerned Scientists, 1/9
Ahmadreza Djalali, a physician and lecturer living in Sweden, was arrested while in Iran for a presentation to other medical professionals. He was accused of spying and sentenced to death. He has now been confined for 2.5 years. Read more.

A just future for #MeToo starts with supporting sexuality research
Victoria Brooks, Times Higher Education, 1/9
If the #MeToo movement has taught us anything, it is that if we want to change the justice system to make it fairer to and less dismissive of women, that legal reform effort must be informed by a knowledge of female sexuality gained by listening to the experiences of women. Read more.

Deferred Prison Sentence of 1 Year, 3 Months for 1 Academic
Bianet, 1/8
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Y.A. has been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” The announcement of the verdict has been deferred. Read more.

Iran arrests demographers, the latest target amid an escalating crackdown on academics and activists
Melissa Etehad and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times, 1/7
Academics with foreign ties living in Iran are on alert following the arrest of a demographer whose research led her to question the country’s decision to urge people to have more children. Read more.

Sudan arrests Khartoum University lecturers amid fresh protests
AlJazeera, 1/6
Sudanese security authorities have arrested several faculty members from Khartoum University, two professors said, after they joined anti-government protests that have posed the most serious challenge to President Omar al-Bashir’s rule. Read more.

Her Husband Was Detained In Iran. Now She’s Raising Their Child On Her Own.
Jessica Schulberg, HuffPost, 1/6
One summer evening a couple years ago, Hua Qu’s son’s preschool teacher pulled her aside. Shaofan, Qu’s son, had been pretending that bad guys had locked his dad in a dungeon inside of a big castle that was guarded by scary dragon. Read more.

China Targets Prominent Uighur Intellectuals to Erase an Ethnic Identity
Austin Ramzy, The New York Times, 1/5
As a writer and magazine editor, Qurban Mamut promoted the culture and history of his people, the Uighurs, and that of other Turkic minority groups who live in far western China. Read more.

Celebrating Academic Bravery
Eric Anthony Grollman, Inside Higher Ed, 1/4
In April 2015, I spoke on a panel on intellectual activism during the Parren Mitchell Symposium at the University of Maryland. That is the professional turf of Patricia Hill Collins — foremother of black feminist theory and author of On Intellectual Activism — so you know it was a significant event. Read more.