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.