• Updates

Urging immediate release of Patrick Zaki and other scholars from Egyptian state pre-trial detention without justifiable cause

Letter urging the immediate release of Patrick Zaki, student at the University of Bologna, Italy, who has been detained by Egyptian security forces since 7 February 2020 and tortured. Letter also urges the immediate release of all students and scholars held in pre-trial detention without justification.

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Limitations and restrictions to foreign nationals teaching at Palestinian universities

Letter demanding Israel lift the restrictions preventing international academics from staying and working in the West Bank, refrain from imposing arbitrary restrictions on the duration of stay or extension of stay for international academics, and order the publication of a clear and lawful procedure for issuing entry visas and work permits for international academics in the West Bank, to enable the university to manage and maintain its academic freedom.

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Hatoon al-Fassi and other women’s rights activists released from prison temporarily

MESA is very pleased to report that Dr. Hatoon al-Fassi was released from prison in Saudi Arabia on May 2, 2019, and has been allowed to return home to her family. Dr. al-Fassi is a renowned historian of women in pre-Islamic Arabia, a prominent advocate for women's rights, and a long-time member of MESA. She was the recipient in November 2018, in absentia, of the MESA Academic Freedom Award, the highest recognition MESA can bestow in acknowledgement of contributions to academic freedom. Dr. al-Fassi's release has been characterized as "temporary;" we continue to call for her full exoneration. We call, as well, for the release of the other women's rights advocates who remain in detention.

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Recent developments concerning the prosecution of Peace Petition signatories and targeting of scholars

Letter regarding recent developments in the prosecution of scholars who signed the declaration “We will not be a party to this crime”—commonly referred to as the “Academics for Peace Petition”—as well as the ongoing targeting of scholars whose research exposes threats emanating from the Turkish government’s policies in areas such as public health and environmental regulation.

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