Revoke sanctions on Swedish scholar Björn Jerdén

Scholars at Risk (SAR) denounces China’s sanctions on scholars and academic institutions in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) for their research activities—a grave threat to global academic freedom. SAR calls on Chinese authorities to revoke the sanctions and to commit to respecting and promoting fully free and open scholarly inquiry.

On March 22 and 26, 2021, China imposed sanctions on three academics, Björn Jerdén, Director of the Swedish National China Centre at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs; Jo Smith Finley, Reader in Chinese Studies at Newcastle University, UK; and Adrian Zenz, Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, US; and a research center, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), in Germany, in retaliation for their research, teaching, and public discourse about China, including reported human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which some scholars and advocates have labelled an ongoing attempted genocide. Their research on Xinjiang has been cited widely, including in support of human rights sanctions by the EU and other states against government officials in the XUAR, the officials responsible for overseeing the alleged violations.

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