Academic Freedom Media Review

September 08 – 14, 2018

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.

Limiting the Debate
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed, 09/13
The Trump administration, which has frequently criticized colleges for not doing enough to protect free speech on campus, introduces a more expansive definition of anti-Semitism on campus. Civil liberties groups say it will result in the stifling of free speech. Read more.

U.N. group calls on Iran to release Princeton graduate student
Jeanette Beebe, WHYY, 09/12
The U.N.’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has concluded that Iran had “no legal basis” for arresting and detaining U.S. prisoner Xiyue Wang, who has spent more than 850 days behind bars in Iran. Read more.

Ode to Prison Guard
GN Saibaba, RAIOT, 09/12
GN Saibaba, scholar sentenced to life imprisonment in India, writes poem from Nagpur Central Jail. Read more.

China seeks action against ‘secession talk’ on campus
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 09/12
China has renewed pressure on Hong Kong’s universities, making it clear that universities and education officials have not come down strongly enough at the start of the academic year against campus speeches that refer to Hong Kong independence from China. Read more.

Iran: UN Working Group Issues Opinion on Xiyue Wang’s Imprisonment
Scholars at Risk, 09/11
Wife of Xiyue Wang, Hua Qu’s responde to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s opinion that Iran had “no legal basis for the arrest and detention” of Mr. Wang. Sign this letter of appeal to demand the immediate release of Mr. Wang. Read more.

Saudi Arabia: Free Right-to-Drive Activists
Human Rights Watch, 09/11
Major car companies should call on Saudi authorities to unconditionally release at least nine detained women activists who fought for the right to drive, said Human Rights Watch said in a campaign announced today. Read more.

Academics from Ankara University Acquitted After 4 Years
Beyza Kural, Bianet, 09/11
Detained at Ankara University Cebeci campus four years ago, five academics have been acquitted. Read more.

A Lebanese Scholar Wants to Improve Refugees’ Lives
Malak Makki, Al-Fana Media, 09/10
Lamis Jomaa, a young Lebanese scholar and professor at the American University of Beirut, hopes her work in assessing the food security of refugees and other vulnerable communities will contribute to solutions that improve lives. Read more.

Why is gender research under attack in Europe?
Linda Marie Rustad, Kilden, 09/07*
In Hungary, the authorities are planning to close down and ban gender studies. This attack on gender research must be seen in connection with right-wing populism’s anti-feminist values. Read more.

*Not featured in the September 7 edition of the Academic Freedom Media Review