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 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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Letter protesting the recent arrests of staff at Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)

Letter to Egyptian authorities protesting the recent arrests of Mohamed Basheer, Karim Ennarah, and Gasser Abdel Razek, employees of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), and the continued targeting of human rights activists and institutions and levelling false accusations against them in an effort to obstruct their work.

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Sentencing Bahey eldin Hassan, human rights advocate and founder of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Letter to Egyptian authorities expressing deep concern regarding the verdict against Bahey eldin Hassan, in absentia, on 25 August 2020. Hassan is a leading human rights advocate in Egypt and founder of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS). CAF also urges the authorities to drop all charges against Hassan.

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