In a narrow vote (8-8 with the Chief Justice casting a tie breaking vote) the Turkish Constitutional Court found that the rights of the Peace Petitioners had been violated. The decision should have precedential effect that will impact all the trials of petition signatories, bringing great relief to hundreds of Turkish academics. MESA’s joint letter of 24 July 2019 to the Constitutional Court of Turkey expressed support of the signatories’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly. MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom has written numerous letters regarding the persecution of the Peace Petition signatories.
Letters and Statements from the Board
MESA along with other academic associations in the social sciences and humanities have written to the Constitutional Court of Turkey in support of the right of scholars and academics who signed the Academics for Peace Petition. The Court will take up the issue of the Peace Petition signatories on 26 July.
MESA deplores the most recent mass execution of 37 detainees in Saudi Arabia on 23 April 2019. It has noted with deep concern that among those executed were an academic and at least one student.
Letter from MESA Board to Stanford University expressing deep disappointment and dismay over the decision to drastically cut support of its university press.
MESA joined as a signer with other professional societies on a letter to Stanford University's administration about the recent decision to drastically cut support of their university press.
March 20, 2019 – The MESA Board deplores the ongoing detention of Dr. Hatoon al-Fassi who has been detained since June 21, 2018, by the government of Saudi Arabia. Dr. al-Fassi was among ten Saudi women brought to a closed-door court hearing on March 13, 2019 on unknown charges.
MESA joined in a letter to the Prime Minister of Hungary regarding academic inquiry and scholarly research in Hungary.
MESA joins other societies in a letter to Alaskan officials regarding funding cuts to higher education
In response to Alaska Governor Dunleavy's proposed funding cuts for higher education, 32 professional societies signed-on to a letter expressing concern about the damage such cuts would impose.
MESA’s Board of Directors and Committee on Academic Freedom Express Concern Over Deteriorating Condition of Academic and Personal Freedom in Sudan
February 27, 2019 – The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom strongly condemn the Sudanese government’s violent suppression of peaceful public protests since December 2018, and the arbitrary detention of protestors, including many academics.
MESA Board of Directors issues revised security alert for study and research in Egypt, February 2019.
November 15, 2018 MESA Board statement affirming commitment to fight antisemitism as a form of racism.
November 15, 2018 MESA Board Statement on Deteriorating Security Conditions for Researchers in the UAE
MESA Board letter regarding attacks on faculty and students by non-academic groups.
MESA joins other societies on letter to both houses of Congress regarding denial of asylum application of Syrian writer, scholar, and human rights activist Dr. Radwan Ziadeh
Letter to both houses of Congress regarding denial of asylum application of Syrian writer, scholar, and human rights activist Dr. Radwan Ziadeh
The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) expresses its strong opposition to the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” (S. 720 and H.R. 1697), currently under consideration by Congress.
MESA Condemns Executive Order limiting the entry of Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants to the U.S.
Condemnation of Executive Order limiting the entry of Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants to the U.S.
MESA issues letter to John Kerry requesting intervention regarding Turkish government actions against universities and academics
MESA Board letter to John Kerry requesting intervention regarding Turkish government measures against universities and academics following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
MESA and other societies express profound concern over the apparent moves to dismantle the structure of Turkish higher education through purges, restrictions, and assertions of central control.
Statement by multiple organizations expressing profound concern over the apparent moves to dismantle the structure of Turkish higher education through purges, restrictions, and assertions of central control.
MESA Board issues Statement regarding the impact of sanctions placed on Iran by the United States and their impact on valuable scholarly activity.
Statement regarding the impact of sanctions placed on Iran by the United States and their impact on valuable scholarly activity.
MESA Board issues statement regarding impact of legislated changes to the Visa Waiver Program on scholarly exchange
Statement regarding impact of legislated changes to the Visa Waiver Program on scholarly exchange
Statement issuing a security alert for study and research in Egypt.
Statement regarding the impact of Texas’s new Campus Carry law on freedom of expression in Texas universities.
The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association condemns the increasing frequency and intensity of violent acts against civilians taking place in countries around the world. We are also alarmed at the related rise in the stereotyping and vilification of people of Middle East or Muslim background.
The MESA Board of Directors has identified the rising reliance on an increasingly contingent academic workforce as one of the greatest current challenges to the academic profession.
The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association expresses great concern over reports of a possible $50 million or 40% cut to Title VI and Fulbright Hays funding.