Academic Freedom Media Review

June 17 – 23, 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.

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
TurkeyPurge, 06/18
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.

*Not featured in the June 16 edition of the Academic Freedom Media Review.