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

Concerns regarding the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018”

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.

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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.

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Israel’s Administrative Detention of Birzeit University Student

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.

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Exposing Canary Mission

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.

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Continuing detention without trial of Ahmed Mansoor

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.

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