Academic Freedom

6 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to The Turkish Government

We demand the immediate release of University of Aberdeen lawyer Dr Hanifi Bariş

ACADEMICS, COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN LAWYER DR HANIFI BARIŞ FROM PRISON IN TURKEY On 4th July 2018, Dr Hanifi Bariş, a University of Aberdeen PhD graduate, was arrested in Istanbul. He is charged with "posting items of criminal content” on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Hanifi is a gifted, well-respected and dearly loved scholar and friend. We decry this abuse of state power and demand justice for our esteemed colleague. The recent actions of the government are demonstrative of an escalation in the repression and erosion of basic human rights in Turkey. Sadly, Hanifi's arrest is not an isolated event. He is one of hundreds of academics currently imprisoned and facing criminal and disciplinary investigations. Many others have already been dismissed or suspended and some have fled the country. Link to news story here. STV news coverage: We, the undersigned, support Hanifi and demand his immediate release from prison. 1. Étienne Balibar, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Université Paris Nanterre 2. Professor of International Politics Engin Isin, Queen Mary University of London 3. Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley 4. Gurminder Bhambra, Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex 5. Professor Sandro Mezzadra, political theorist, Università di Bologna 6. Professor Ilan Pappé, historian and social activist 7. Stuart Elden, Professor of Political Theory and Geography, University of Warwick 8. Aleksandra Ålund, Emeritus Professor, Linköping University 9. Professor Patricia Burke Wood, Department of Geography, York University 10. Professor Diana Paton, William Robertson Professor of History, Edinburgh University 11. Dr Trevor Stack, Director, Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law, University of Aberdeen 12. Prof. Dr. Karin Friedrich, Chair of Early Modern European History, University of Aberdeen 13. Dr Andrea Teti, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Aberdeen 14. Dr. Thomas Schmidinger, University Lecturer for Political Science, University of Vienna 15. Katharina Brizic, Professor of Multilingualism Studies, University of Freiburg 16. Dr. Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Professor of Comparative Politics, Siena College, Albany, NY 17. Professor Annelies Moors, Department of Cultural Anthropology, University of Amsterdam 18. Prof. Dr. Philip G. Kreyenbroek, Professor Emeritus, Georg-August University Göttingen 19. Dr. Wendelmoet Hamelink, Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo 20. Professor René Smits University of Amsterdam 21. Prof. Dr. Marlies Casier, Visiting Professor, Ghent University 22. Dr Nazand Begikhani, Senior International Adviser Higher Education & Gender, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol 21. Martin van Bruinessen, Professor Emeritus, Utrecht University 22. Dr. Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Excellence 100 Reader in Social Politics and Media, Loughborough University 23. Dr Ilia Xypolia, Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Aberdeen 24. Ogubie Lawson, President, Aberdeen University Students' Association, University of Aberdeen 25. Professor Doctor Ulisses Terto Neto, IESB and the Federal University of Goias (UFG), Brazil 26. Dr. Erik Bähre, Associate Professor, Leiden University 27. Prof. Dr. Peter Pels, Institute CA-DS, Universiteit Leiden 28. Jorunn Økland, Professor, University of Oslo; Director, Norwegian Institute at Athens. 29. Dr. Martin Greve, senior researcher, musicologist, Berlin 30. Dr. Latif Tas, SOAS, University of London​ 31. Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, Ex-President Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network. Human Rights Activist​ 32. Professor Robert I. Frost, Burnett Fletcher Chair of History, University of Aberdeen. Fellow of the British Academy Akademisyenler, Meslektaşları ve Arkadaşları Aberdeen Üniversitesinden Barış imzacısı, Avukat Hanifi Barış’ın Derhal Serbest Bırakılmasını Talep Ediyor Doktorasını Aberdeen Üniversitesinde yapmış olan Dr Hanifi Barış, 4 Temmuz 2018 günü İstanbul’da tutuklandı. Yetkililerin belirtildiğine göre, hakkındaki suçlama, Facbook’da "suç içeren paylaşımlar" yapmasıydı. Hanifi, başarılı, saygı duyulan, ve çok sevilen bir akademisyen ve arkadaş olarak bilinmektedir. Bizler devlet otoritesinin bu şekilde kötüye kullanılmasını eleştiriyor, saygıdeğer meslektaşımız için adalet talep ediyoruz. Türk devletinin son zamanlardaki uygulamaları ülkedeki temel insan haklarındaki erozyonu ve baskının boyutlarını tereddütte gerek duymadan açığa çıkarmıştır. Üzülerek belirtmek isteriz ki, Hanifi hâlihazırda cezaevinde bulunan, hakkında ceza ve disiplin soruşturmaları açılan yüzlerce akademisyenden sadece biridir. Şu güne kadar, birçok akademisyen işlerinden atılmış veya uzaklaştırılmış, veya bu baskı ve ceza tehditleri altında ülkeden ayrılmak zorunda bırakılmıştır. Bu metni Hanifi’yi desteklemek ve onun derhal serbest bırakılmasını talep etmek amacıyla imzalıyoruz. #HanifiyeÖzgürlük

Friends and Colleagues of the University of Aberdeen
4,785 supporters
This petition won 10 months ago

Petition to Jo Johnson MP

Stand up for Universities teaching freely on Brexit

People being free to share thoughts and ideas on issues within society is one of the beauties of democracy. This week we learned that Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris wrote to university vice-chancellors requesting information about teaching on European affairs relating to Brexit, the name of individual staff teaching this subject, all materials used and links to classroom discussions.  As a professor of law and government & Dean of my law school at Durham, I am appalled at to see this, and know it could intimidate academics - making them feel like the government is monitoring them. No vice-chancellor should be forced to act on this request and that's why I'm calling on the universities minister Jo Johnson to make this clear through a statement.  Only a few vice chancellors have gone public. And thanks to them, this has been exposed. The letter has caused some parts of the press to call of information on "anti-Brexit" bias Heaton-Harris is a junior government whip and it is claimed that he was researching for a book. He should not be using his political position, or the House of Commons letterhead in this way.  A clear statement from the universities minister, Jo Johnson, is required to bring this unfortunate matter to an end.We, the undersigned, call on Jo Johnson, to contact every university vice-chancellor receiving the letter from Chris Heaton-Harris MP in writing to confirm that no university is required to release the information Heaton-Harris requested. In so doing, he would reaffirm his government's commitment to academic freedom, debate, and the high quality of teaching standards at our country's higher education institutions. We are global leaders that should be championed not enemies to be silenced.

Thom Brooks
3,509 supporters
Started 10 months ago

Petition to Jordanian Parliament

Self-governance for Jordanian universities: reform the Jordanian University Law

Jordanian universities suffers from low levels of academic freedom and from lack of independence from the political power, thus, resulting in a total absence of shared governance practices and involvement of relevant stakeholdres in decision-making. Moreover, there is a total absence of unions for academics and professors, with the only exceptions of students unions in some univeristies in the country. Furthermore, participation of Jordanian youth in politics and decision-making at large is extremely limited. This is partly due to the universities' governance structure highly controlled by the political power and with little, if not any, space for students to be involved in decision-making and to engage in fruitful discussions with their peers and professors. Education is rather seen as instruction: it is not empowering them to think critically and to be aware of their citizens' rights.  We, at the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS), believe that a high degree of academic freedom and administrative independence in universities is necessary in order to enhance the democratic process in Jordan, because it is the primary way to forge students as future citizens and to make them develop their ability to think critically. Thus, with this petition we ask members of the Jordanian House of Representatives to take actions to make amendments to the Jordanian Universities Law no. 20 of 2009. In particular, we suggest to: Reform article 9, par. B, in a way that the members of the board of trustees will be nominated by royal decree, upon majority vote by the parliament’s education committee. Reform article 12, par. B and C, to make the board of trustees responsible for the nomination of the Presidents of the University.  Reform article 15, par B, in a way to introduce an election mechanism of the university’s students and graduates representative to the university council. Reform article 18, par. A, to make the board of trustees resposnible for the appointment of the deans of the facutlies, upon consultation with the President of University taking into consideration the willing of teaching staff as resulting from an internal election. Introducing a specific article, after article 32, that will allow professors, academics, researchers and students to freely form and join unions as well as to freely join political parties.

Amman Center for Human Rights Studies
109 supporters