Academic Freedom monitored by Scholars at Risk which celebrates its 15th anniversary in Montreal

May 27, 2016

Attacks on higher education threaten the safety and well-being of scholars, administrators, staff and students; undermine academic work and instruction; and deny everyone the benefits of expert knowledge and scientific and creative progress. Too often such attacks go unreported. Scholars at Risk (SAR) publishes an Academic Freedom Monitor which tracks key attacks with the aims of protecting vulnerable individuals, promoting accountability and preventing future violations. In the period February – April 2016  SAR reports 20 incidents:

These include: targeted killings of a student and scholar in Bangladesh; violence on campus, as well as retaliation for non-violent student protests — including arrests, prosecutions and threats of violence — in India; prosecution of a scholar on blasphemy charges in Kuwait; disciplinary actions against students for non-violent, on campus expression in Malaysia; violent and/or destructive acts on campuses in Nigeria; violence targeting student activists in Sudan; violence against protesters in Swaziland; reported threats and criminal charges against a professor for the content of an exam question in Turkey, as well as ongoing cases of professional retaliation, imprisonment and prosecution, and travel restrictions against Turkish professors in connection with their having signed a petition urging Turkish authorities to renew dialogue with factions in the southeastern area of the country; and the detention of a professor in Venezuela.

See also:

To report a new incident, provide updated information on a listed incident, or learn how you and your institution might participate in monitoring activities, email


Also note that SAR will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2016 with a Congress to take place in Montreal from 8 – 10 June. Over the years, the network has grown from fewer than two dozen institutions to over 400 in 39 countries. At the Congress, more than 200 university, government and nonprofit leaders, faculty, staff, students and advocates from 25 countries will come together to discuss seminal issues facing higher education today. Congress participants will discuss how to do more to protect universities and scholars in these challenging times, and to strengthen the capacity of the university sector to contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Join us in Montreal, Canada, from June 8-10 for SAR’s 2016 Global Congress

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