• Updates

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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Response to Query by Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Letter to the UN office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights responding to their query about our earlier correspondence with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression concerning the cases of academics facing prosecution in Turkey on charges of denigrating the Turkish state or insulting the President.

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Magnitude of Harassment, Intimidation, Prosecution, and Repression to Peace Petition Signatories

Letter to PM Davutoğlu (see previous letter of January 14, 2016) concerning the gravity and magnitude of the pattern of harassment, intimidation, prosecution and repression to which academics have been subjected as a consequence of signing the Peace Petition, followed by a comprehensive appendix detailing these violations of academic freedom.

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Legal Battle by Pinar Selek Depicting Climate of Intimidation

The fourteen-year-long cycle of trials and acquittals that has subjected Pınar Selek, a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Strasbourg, to prolonged denial of justice. Selek’s plight has also contributed to a climate of intimidation confronting all scholars, within and outside of Turkey, who wish to conduct research and writing on Kurdish issues.

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