NEAR Newsletter July 2005
Welcome to the NEAR Newsletter. In this edition you will find our most recent Action Alerts and also an ‘Academic Freedom in the Media’ section, listing news by country (July 2005). Any comments and suggestions about the content and layout of the newsletter will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEAR Action Alerts *Taken from the NEAR website
Several students died and hundreds were injured during demonstrations as a result of clashes with the police in Indonesia in 1998/99. Now the victim’s families demand the establishment of an ad hoc human rights court. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: On 12 May 1998, nine days before the resignation of Suharto, students held a demonstration at Trisakti University, calling on Suharto to resign and demanding democratic reform.
Amnesty International reports that, although some of the students from Addis Ababa University arrested in June 2005 have been released, approximately 190 are still held in custody at Sendafa police training college, and are at risk of torture. According to reports students were held at Sendafa police training college and reportedly forced to walk on their knees on sharp stones and do hard physical exercises, while being frequently kicked and beaten.
TNEAR has received information of unfair dismissals carried out at the University of Chile. A group of academics, who were appointed by the University’s Rector to restructure the Faculty of Social Sciences have dismissed, in March this year, 54 academics of the Faculty, all of whom have the highest professional reputations.
Professor Kenneth Good was deported from Botswana 1 June 2005 (please see related NEAR Alerts). He is now in London and appealing the High Court judgement.
Communications students and blogger Mojtaba Saminejad was acquitted of charges of "insulting the prophets" - for which he faced the death penalty - in June 2005. However, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reports that Saminejad is serving a two-year sentence for "insulting the Supreme Guide". He has been in custody since 12 February 2005.
Hundreds of armed men surrounded Turbi primary school, in the north region of Kenya, and opened fire as children were making their way to school early on 12 July 2005 according to the BBC. It is estimated that 76 people, of which 22 were children, died in the massacre. The BBC's correspondent in Turbi says witnesses report that many of the children were hacked to death with machetes as they arrived at the school.
Professor Ochoa Restrepo, who is also director of a television station was forced to leave his hometown in Colombia after an attempt on his life and further intimidation Julián Alberto Ochoa Restrepo, professor at the University of Antioquia and director of a tv channel in the city, has been forced to leave the region on 13 July 2005 after an attempt on his life occurred the 23 May 2005.
The Palestinian Union of University Teachers and Employees (PUUTE) published an article attacking Al-Quds University President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh and calling for him to be fired, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reports. AAAS commented that the article by PUUTE, a sister union to Britain's Association of University Teachers (AUT), came after Dr.
Professor Kenneth Good was deported from Botswana 1 June 2005 (please see related NEAR Alerts), lost his appeal to overrule the High Court judgement.
** Please continue to send us any relevant cases involving threats to academic freedom and education rights, for potential alerts.
The Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR) is a membership-based, non-governmental organisation which facilitates international collaboration between organisations active in issues of academic freedom and educational rights, and committed to promoting an understanding of, and respect for, the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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