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 regarding the termination and deportation of Yemeni scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Letter to Saudi authorities expressing concern about the reported dismissals of Yemeni scholars, physicians and other professionals from their positions at universities in the southern provinces of al-Baha, Asir, Jazan and Najran.

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Letter to Iranian authorities calling for immediate release of imprisoned conservationist, Niloufar Bayani

Letter to Iranian authorities calling for the immediate release of conservationist, Niloufar Bayani, who is serving a 10-year sentence on dubious charges and is experiencing declining health. Bayani has contracted the Covid-19 virus in prison and has been sent to a quarantine isolation ward with inadequate medical support.

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Continuing detention of Ahmed Mansoor and Nasser bin Ghaith

Letter to UAE authorities expressing concern about the deteriorating health of Ahmed Mansoor, the internationally acclaimed human rights activist and drawing attention to the continuing imprisonment of Nasser bin Ghaith as well as to the Pegasus Project allegations over the use of spyware against academics and others.

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Letter regarding the termination of the contracts of two professors at Boğaziçi University by Acting-Rector Mehmet Naci İnci

Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the termination of the contracts of two professors at Boğaziçi University by Acting-Rector Mehmet Naci İnci, who is continuing the politically motivated campaign against Boğaziçi University’s autonomous university governance launched by his predecessor, the controversially appointed Rector, Melih Bulu.

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Letter regarding the deterioration of academic freedom in Egypt

Letter to Egyptian authorities expressing concern regarding the deterioration of academic freedom in the country, including the continued detention of several scholars, leveling of new charges against some who are already detained, and restrictions on travel of previously detained researchers.

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Letter regarding the targeting of the family of Berlin-based Egyptian Scholar Taqadum Al-Khatib

Letter to Egyptian authorities expressing profound concern regarding the recent raid of the family residence in Egypt of Berlin-based scholar, Taqadum Al-Khatib and the questioning of his father by security officials. CAF urges Egyptian authorities to investigate the case and other similar cases of harassment of family members, and to stop such unjust practices.

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Letter protesting the detention and mistreatment of Egyptian national Ahmed Samir Santawy

Letter to Egyptian authorities protesting the unwarranted detention of Egyptian national, Ahmad Samir Santawy, a master's student at the Central European University in Vienna, and the mistreatment he has been subjected to—including enforced disappearance and torture.

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Letter protesting the ongoing detention of Patrick George Zaki

Letter to Egyptian authorities protesting the ongoing detention of Patrick George Zaki, a graduate student in Italy and human rights researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) without due process, charging him with spreading false news and statements to disturb the peace, and inciting protest without permission from relevant authorities with the goal of undermining state institutions, overthrowing the Egyptian government and instigating terrorism.

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Letter regarding the government sanctioned campaign against Boğaziçi University, its students, faculty and institutional structure

Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the recent attacks against Boğaziçi University’s students and faculty, and the government’s politically motivated decision to alter the university’s academic structure.

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Letter regarding the detention and mistreatment of Boğaziçi University students protesting against the partisan authoritarian appointment of a new rector

Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the detention and mistreatment of Boğaziçi University students protesting against the partisan and authoritarian appointment of the university’s rector, the homophobic language and policies adopted in relation to student protesters, and the placement of snipers on the roofs of buildings adjacent to the campus gate.

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Ongoing erosion of the autonomy of Turkish public universities due to Erdogan’s unilateral appointments of university presidents

Letter to President Erdoğan regarding the adverse effects of his unilateral administrative appointments to Turkey's universities resulting in the complete erosion of the autonomy of Turkey's public universities in particular, a process set in motion following the 1980 military coup but dramatically accelerated since 2016 due to emergency and presidential decrees adopted by Erdoğan.

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