Advocacy Insider

Social Media
Δημοσίευση: 24-02-2021 00:32 | Προβολές: 1045

Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Media Review

Scholars at Risk's Advocacy Insider is a monthly summary of actions, reported threats, and media on academic freedom worldwide. Have a question or want to get involved in SAR's advocacy work? Email us at

Save Professor G.N. Saibaba from COVID-19!

Dr. G.N. Saibaba at a conference. Copyright Sidheeq

Join SAR in calling on Indian authorities to immediately release Professor G.N. Saibaba on medical parole so he may receive urgent medical care for COVID-19. Professor Saibaba, a scholar of English literature serving a life sentence, is at risk of severe complications from the virus due to various longstanding health conditions. 

On February 13, it was reported that Professor Saibaba tested positive for COVID-19. Professor Saibaba suffers from post-polio syndrome, paralysis, and cardiac complications. Since his arrest in 2014, his health has significantly deteriorated. Reports indicate that over the years of Professor Saibaba’s imprisonment, he has been mistreated and denied access to medication, proper medical treatment, and appropriate wheelchair accessibility standards in prison. 

SAR and 17 other organizations issued an appeal to Indian authorities calling for Professor Saibaba’s immediate release and ensuring his access to proper medical treatment. 

You can help Professor Saibaba by taking the below actions: 

Take more action through SAR's Scholars-in-Prison ProjectStudent Advocacy Seminars, and Legal Clinics.

SAR Calls on the UN’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to Raise Academic Freedom Concerns with China and Brazil

SAR submitted reports of attacks on higher education in China/Hong Kong and Brazil to the UN's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) for consideration by the upcoming 69th pre-sessional working group. 

The submission on China details the recent increase in top-down ideological pressures that have impacted numerous areas of academic life. SAR recommends that the committee raise concerns with China’s State party representatives about “re-education” efforts targeting ethnic and religious minorities, restrictions on access to information, the monitoring and surveillance of academic activity, and the erosion of institutional autonomy in Hong Kong. 


The submission on Brazil addresses the significant pressures facing the higher education community over the past three years from politicians energized by populist sentiment. SAR recommends that the committee raise concerns with Brazil’s State party representatives about university budget cuts, executive actions eroding university autonomy, and the demonization of higher education officials. 

Take more action through SAR's Scholars-in-Prison ProjectStudent Advocacy Seminars, and Legal Clinics.

Human Rights Council: Countries Should Take Bold Action on Egypt

SAR and over 100 NGOs from around the world published a joint letter calling on governments to lead and support monitoring and reporting mechanisms on the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt at the upcoming 46th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The monitoring and reporting mechanism will serve to raise the profile of the violations and crimes committed, provide remedies for survivors and victims’ families, deter further abuses, and establish pathways for accountability.

Take more action through SAR's Scholars-in-Prison ProjectStudent Advocacy Seminars, and Legal Clinics.

Student Advocacy Days kick off on March 3!

In partnership with Roger Williams University, SAR will host the annual Student Advocacy Days, an advocacy and leadership summit open to students and faculty conducting case advocacy and research via SAR's Student Advocacy Seminars. Students will participate in training webinars on governmental avenues for advocacy, social media advocacy, and the power of the student voice, and will have opportunities to present on their own research and advocacy in support of Scholars in Prison. On March 3rd at 7:00 pm EST, the event will kick off with a keynote by Jewher Ilham and Akeda Pulati, daughters of imprisoned Uyghur scholars. This keynote is open to everyone; register hereXiyue Wang, a graduate student formerly imprisoned in Iran, will present the closing keynote with his wife and advocate Hua Qu. Please contact to learn more.

Take more action through SAR's Scholars-in-Prison ProjectStudent Advocacy Seminars, and Legal Clinics.

Attacks on Higher Education

Turkey: Student arrested for Twitter account
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey, 2/7
Police arrested Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University student Beyza Buldağ, in connection with a Twitter account that was critical of the government’s actions targeting Boğaziçi University. 
Read more »
United States: Anonymous individuals “Zoombomb” university event
Tufts University, United States, 2/5
An unidentified individual hijacked a Tufts University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion online event to display racist language.
Read more »
Egypt: Student detained and interrogated about studies and online activity
Central European University, Egypt, 2/1
Egyptian authorities arrested Central European University master’s student Ahmed Samir Santawy while home for winter break.
Read more »
Nigeria: Military and police tear gas student protesters
University of Abuja, Nigeria, 2/1
Military and/or police personnel used teargas to disperse peaceful student protesters as they demonstrated on the campus of the University of Abuja.
Read more »
Turkey: Police detain student and faculty protesters
Bogaziči University, Turkey, 2/1
Turkish police detained 159 students, faculty, and others peacefully protesting at and around the Bogaziči University campus.
Read more »
Russia: Students suspended following protest
Astrakhan State University, Russia, 1/30
Astrakhan State University expelled three students for participating in a January 23 protest in support of imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Read more »
Pakistan: Security guards clash with student protesters
University of Central Punjab, Pakistan, 1/26
Security guards clashed violently with students protesting outside the University of Central Punjab, in Lahore.
Read more »
China: University suspends two students
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China, 1/25
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology suspended two students for organizing a memorial event commemorating the life of a student who died after falling from a parking garage near the site of a student protest.
Read more »
Greece: Police tear gas student protesters
Various, Greece, 1/14
Police used tear gas against students protesting a government proposal to increase police presence on university campuses.
Read more »
Pakistan: Police attack student protesters
Unknown, Pakistan, 1/6
Police used batons and water cannons against medical school students and recent graduates during a protest.
Read more »

Learn more about SAR's Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, which identifies and tracks attacks on higher education communities in order to protect vulnerable individuals, promote accountability, and prevent future attacks.

Academic Freedom in the News
MYANMAR: Myanmar campuses in ‘distress’ since coup
Joyce Lau, Times Higher Education, 2/17
Myanmar's higher education community has come under threat following the recent military coup. The threats to academic freedom include the arrests of students and scholars, the frequent use of violent force against peaceful protesters, and widespread internet shutdowns.
Read more »
EUROPEAN UNION / CHINA: EU says it can exclude China from EU research projects
Yojana Sharma, University World News, 2/17
The European Commission says it can exclude Chinese participation in Horizon Europe and other sensitive research projects using new powers to exclude third countries that do not share ‘EU values’.
Read more »
THE PHILIPPINES: Duterte’s Forces Have a New Target: University Students
Jason Gutierrez, The New York Times, 2/14
Students and professors have gathered in protest against the latest move to suppress criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte -- the abrogation of a 32-year treaty preventing government forces from entering university campuses.
Read more »

Sign up for SAR's Academic Freedom Media Review, a weekly digest of news, essays, and other media pertaining to academic freedom and higher education communities around the world.