• Updates

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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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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