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Academic Freedom
GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports from around the world
After weeks of violence in Burkina Faso, in which at least six students died, the government has shut down all universities until further notice. The Yemini army has injured 98 students while attempting to halt protests on campuses. In Sudan, 100 students and youths have been arrested since January and many have reported severe mistreatment and torture. An Iranian history lecturer has been dismissed after publishing critical articles, and the Iranian Ministry of Education has announced new restrictions on students abroad. In Malawi, lecturers striking against interference in academic freedom have defied a presidential order to go back to work.
GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports from around the world
Senior Chinese researcher Jin Xide has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for allegedly leaking information to foreign intelligence agencies about the health of North Korea's leader. In Turkmenistan, the government has slapped restrictions on university students, giving no explanation. Malaysian academic Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid and two other men have been acquitted of possessing prohibited religious books, and in Saudi Arabia 119 academics and activists have called for far-reaching reforms. In Belarus a lecturer and a student remain in jail for participating in mass protests following December's disputed presidential election.
GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports from around the world
A student leader has been abducted by authorities in the province of Balochistan in south-west Pakistan. In Belarus an associate professor has been fired after attending a mass protest over December's disputed presidential election, and in Turkey a sociologist has been tried and acquitted of charges for which she had already been twice acquitted. In South Africa, the Council on Higher Education has suppressed a university audit following complaints by the vice-chancellor that it was "biased", and in Malawi lecturers went on strike after a colleague was interrogated by a local police chief over an example he gave in a political science class.
GLOBAL: Academic freedom reports from around the world
In Britain, police have asked universities to pass them intelligence on planned protests, as students continue their vociferous campaign against education cuts and fee hikes. In Tunisia, universities remained closed last week but are expected to open tomorrow. The University of Tartu has sent the Croatian parliament a letter urging that the final version of a bill impacting on its autonomy be changed. President Barack Obama has announced that educational exchanges between Cuba and the US will be eased, while in China police and campus security at Peking University have issued a ban on copying sensitive materials. Egypt's Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal has confirmed that the government will comply with court rulings to end a police presence on campuses.
UKRAINE: Government interference in rector election
Election of a new rector at Donetsk National University in Ukraine led to allegations of government interference and violence from university staff, according to reports received from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. During the election on 10 December, university staff were allegedly told they could vote for their preferred candidate, but that the "last word was with the Ministry".
BAHRAIN: Lawyers walk-out over torture of activists
Defense lawyers of 25 detained opposition and human rights activists, including the professor and blogger Dr Abeljalil Al-Singace, staged a walk-out of their clients' trial in Bahrain following the court's repeated refusal to allow an investigation into the alleged torture of the detainees, Reporters Without Borders revealed on 9 December.
PHILIPPINES: Students protest treatment of academics
Students from three universities in the Philippines demonstrated on 18 November against a show cause order brought against 37 members of faculty at the University of the Philippines faculty of law, ABS-CBN News reported.
IRAN: Student activist arrested
Ali Gholizadeh, an activist and member of the Daftar Tahkim-e Vahdat student organisation, has been arrested and detained in Mashad, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported on 5 November.
INDIA: University book ban sparks free speech fears
Writers, filmmakers and social commentators have expressed fear for freedom of speech after the withdrawal of an award-winning book from a university syllabus following pressure from hard-line Hindu activists, AFP reported on 20 October.
US: California vetoes university transparency bill
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have required foundations and other auxiliary groups tied to California's main universities, California State University and the University of California, to open their list of donors to the public, Inside Higher Education reported on 1 October.
UKRAINE: Arrest of historian for research activities
Historian Ruslan Zabiliy has been arrested by the Ukrainian security service, the SBU, allegedly on the basis of his research into the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and Ukraine's independence movement in the 1940s and 1950s, the Kyiv Post reported on 17 September.
JORDAN: Student jailed for writing poem
A student at Irbid's University in Jordan has been accused of lèse majesté and "causing national strife" over a poem he denies writing that criticised the King, Human Rights Watch reported on 3 September 2010. Hatim Al-Shuli was arrested at his university on 25 July, after flyers of the poem under his name were distributed around campus.
UK: Challenging ruling mantras of higher education
There is a special kind of British humour that is very good at locating the absurd in everyday life. It draws our attention to much of what we take for granted just by tone of voice or the raising of an eyebrow. Either of these can be enough to effectively place scare quotes around a cliché; or draw our critical attention to something, and make us laugh at the sudden absurdity of what once seemed authoritative.
IRAN: Detention of student union leaders
Two members of the Central Council of Advar-e Tahkim Vahdat, a representative body of Islamic student associations in Iran, have been detained by Iranian security forces, Advar News reported on 22 August.
Iran: Campaign to free jailed student photographer
More than 70 Iranian graduates have launched a campaign calling for the release of their friend and colleague, student photographer Hamed Saber, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty reported last month. Saber was arrested on 21 June and there had been no communication regarding his whereabouts.
Russia: Nuclear scientist released in "spy swap"
Dr Igor Sutyagin (pictured), a Russian nuclear scientist and former head of division at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, was released from prison on 9 July.
IRAN: Prominent scholar released on bail
Emadeddin Baghi, Iranian scholar, journalist and human rights activist, was released on bail on 23 June. According to reports from Amnesty International he was released from Tehran's Evin prison on bail of US$200,000 after 180 days in prison.
CHINA: Publisher scraps Tiananmen Square memoir
Hong Kong publishers have been forced to abandon plans to publish an account of the decision-making behind the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy student protesters, The Guardian reported on 20 June.
IRAN: Two UK students in detention in Iran
Doctoral students Mohammad Reza Jalaeipour and Ehsan Abdoh Tabrizi are both being held in detention in Iran, Radio Free Europe and The Guardian reported on 24 and 25 June.
ANGOLA: Professor on trial in Cabinda
A professor is among three prominent rights advocates facing politically motivated criminal charges by the Angolan government following an attack on 8 January in Cabinda on Togolese footballers participating in the African Cup of Nations, Human Rights Watch reported on 23 June.
TURKEY: Education trade unionists on trial
Public sector trade unionists are facing heavy prison terms in Turkey, including 27 teachers and members of the teachers' trade union Egitim Sen, and the Confederation of Public Employees' Trade Unions, KESK.
RWANDA: American academic released
Human rights lawyer and academic Professor Peter Erlinder was released by a Rwandan court on health grounds after being held by the authorities for almost three weeks, the BBC reported on 18 June.
ISRAEL: Academic denied entry to West Bank
Israeli immigration officials prevented US scholar Noam Chomsky from entering the West Bank last week. Professor Chomsky, renowned for his work on linguistics and philosophy, was planning to deliver a lecture at Birzeit University, BBC News reports. Chomsky said he was denied entry because the Israeli government has long objected to his controversial writings and speeches.
RUSSIA: Court rejects appeal by imprisoned scientist
A court in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk has rejected an appeal for the release of academic Igor Sutyagin, who is serving a 15-year sentence for espionage. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that Sutyagin, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Canada Institute, was sentenced in 2004 for allegedly passing classified information about Russia's nuclear weapons to a London-based firm.
US: Haiti trip provokes academic freedom argument
An unauthorised trip by two students to Haiti in the wake of the recent earthquake has sparked an academic freedom row in the US, Times Higher Education reports. Jon Bougher and Roman Safiullin, students in the Documentary Institute at the College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, returned to Haiti after a university ban to complete their thesis documentary about aid workers. They paid for the trip themselves and worked without any input from the university.