Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Academics Around the World Face Violence and Imprisonment, Data Show

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 23rd, 2015

While scholars around the world have occasionally faced political persecution because of their academic work, in recent years a "staggering" number of them have been physically threatened, imprisoned, or otherwise intimidated.
So says Jesse Levine, an advocacy officer at the Scholars at Risk Network, a nonprofit organization that on Tuesday published a report that seeks to shed light on the scope and scale of attacks on academic freedom globally.
The report, "Free to Think," lists 247 instances from January 2011 to May 2015 in which professors, students, or others in higher education faced threats to their safety or their ability to conduct research or to teach. In all, the Scholars at Risk Network, which is based at New York University, tracked incidents in 65 countries. Such problems tended to be concentrated in places with authoritarian governments or facing civil strife, yet the United States too had recent cases in which professors faced death threats.

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