MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom has issued a resource guide for college and university leaders on actions they can take to counteract a secretive, political organization called Canary Mission that uses its website to engage in defamatory attacks against college students and faculty who engage in advocacy for Palestinian rights and academic inquiry about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Committee on Academic Freedom
MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom comprises two sub-committees: MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and NA (North America). The mission of CAF is to address violations by protesting them at the highest government and diplomatic levels of the country where the violation occurs. The cases that CAF has addresses can be viewed in the list of interventions. To learn more about CAF, read the Committee's protocol.
Letter to the University of Michigan protesting the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against Professor John Cheney-Lippold because of his decision not to write a letter of recommendation for a student applying to a study-abroad program in Israel.
GWU Provost Forrest Maltzman responds to CAF's serious concerns regarding the 10 September 2018 announcement of a "research partnership" between the New York Times and George Washington University's Program on Extremism (POE).
Iraqi Documents and Research Partnership between The New York Times and George Washington University
Letter to George Washington University leadership regarding university's partnership with the New York Times to house documents removed from Iraq by Rukmini Callimachi.
Letter to Iranian authorities expressing grave concern regarding the imprisonment and conviction of Mr. Xiyue Wang, History PhD Student at Princeton University, while conducting archival research for his doctoral dissertation.
Letter to Israeli authorities condemning the sentencing of Ms. Ola Marshoud to seven months in prison for organizing students in opposition to the Israeli Occupation Forces at an-Najah National University in Nablus, where she was a registered student.
Letter to Israeli authorities condemning the arbitrary conditions imposed on foreign national academics working (or seeking to work) in Palestinian universities, and the increasing denial of visas (new and renewed) to them.
Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the July 8th Emergency Decree (KHK 701), which resulted in the dismissals of 206 academics at 63 public universities and 52 administrators from 24 public universities in Turkey from their positions.
Letter to the Supreme State Prosecution in Egypt concerning the detention of Walid Salim, a University of Washington Ph.D. student conducting research in Egypt.
Letter to Agence France Presse protesting the publication on 5 June 2018 of a heavily biased and misinformed article by Shatha Yaish regarding the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Qatar and its founder, Dr. Azmi Bishara.
Letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees expressing serious concerns about the "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018" recently introduced as H.R.5924 and S.2940 because the definition of anti-Semitism that it would require the Department of Education to adopt conflates criticism of Israeli policies and of Zionism with anti-Semitism, thereby endangering free speech rights and academic freedom at U.S. institutions of higher education.
New York Times Response to Issues Raised Regarding Its Acquisition and Unethical Use of Documents Removed from Iraq
The New York Times has responded to several issues raised by CAF's May 2, 2018 letter as well as questions sent in by other readers regarding the nearly 16,000 documents that journalist Rukmini Callimachi and her team removed from Iraq without permission of the relevant Iraqi authorities.
Letter regarding the Israeli government's facilitating and directing abusive actions, including cyberbullying, against students at universities in the United States who have been active in campaigns for divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Letter to Israeli state authorities criticizing the interrogation, deportation, and blacklisting of Columbia University Professor Katherine Franke and Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vince Warren.
Letter to Iranian authorities concerning the arrest of Iranian-British Professor Abbas Edalat during his recent visit to Iran to attend an academic workshop, with charges of espionage raised against him.
Acquisition and Unethical Use of Documents Removed from Iraq by New York Times Journalist Rukmini Callimachi
Letter to the New York Times concerning Rukmini Callimachi’s series “The ISIS Files” that employs nearly 16,000 documents removed from Iraq by her and her team without permission of the relevant Iraqi authorities. In addition to the complete disregard for the myriad legal, professional, ethical, and moral issues involved, including endangering individuals by the reckless publication of unredacted documents, their removal from Iraq is a violation of a number of international customary laws.
Letter to Israeli state authorities expressing alarm about Israel’s mistreatment and administrative detention of Omar al-Kiswani, president of the Birzeit University student council. CAF deplores Israel’s practice of administrative detention as well as the conditions under which al-Kiswani is being held. They violate international humanitarian law, al-Kiswani's right to education, and they disrupt the university’s learning environment.
Letter to UAE authorities regarding the one-year anniversary of the detention of Ahmed Mansoor, an internationally-acclaimed human rights activist and recipient of the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and drawing attention to the imprisonment of dozens of other academics, lawyers, opposition figures, and human rights activists in the UAE.
Letter to Iranian authorities expressing concern regarding the sentencing of Professor Sadegh Zibakalam for his interview with Deutsche Welle Persian Service on the December 2017 protests in Iran.
Letter to PM Yıldırım concerning the Boğaziçi University students who were detained and arrested over their peaceful antiwar protests.
Letter to Egyptian authorities and the president of Cairo University protesting the termination of the appointment of Dr. Amr Hamzawy of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS).