NEAR Newsletter September 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 (September 2005). Any comments and suggestions about the content and layout of the newsletter will be gratefully received at email@example.com.
NEAR Action Alerts *Taken from the NEAR website
Liu Di, a young Internet user who was imprisoned for a year in 2002-2003 (Please see related NEAR Alerts) was placed under survellance while receiving a visit from Louise Arbour, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights on 29 August 2005. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it was "sickened by the hypocrisy of the Chinese authorities".
International PEN greets with shock the news that the world-famous Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk, will be brought before an Istanbul court on 16 December and that he faces up to three years in prison for a comment published in a Swiss newspaper earlier this year. The charges stem from an interview given by Orhan Pamuk to the Swiss newspaper Das Magazin on 6 February 2005 in which he is quoted as saying that "thirty thousand Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it".
IRIN News, the news-organisation of the United Nations, reports that 10 students were injured in Mbabane, the Swazi capital, on 11 September when the police broke up a march protesting the governement suspension of scholarships. Around 1,00 students were seeking an audience with the country’s Prime Minister Themba Dlamini to demand the restoration of government scholarships that had always been available to tertiary students.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science issued an alert that the members of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG), in particularly its Executive Director, the anthropologist Fredy Peccerelli, and his family, have been receiving death threats. The sources of these threats is thought to be tied to the Guatemalan military officers active during the country's civil war.
Professor Kenneth Good, deported from Botswana last February, is now guest researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute based in Sweden. The Director of the Istitute has issued an appeal urging the President of Botswana to reinstate Professor Good. Please find below a copy of the appeal: Re: Deportation of Prof.
Zheng Yichun, professor emeritus of English, has been sentenced today to a seven-year jail term to be followed by three years's deprivation of political rights for ‘inciting subversion’. He was tried twice on the same charge this year in highly irregular proceedings, the Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ) informs.
University Professors, trade unionist and students are attacked, harassed and often killed in Colombia with increasing frequency. Justice for Colombia informs that on 22 September 2005 a student union activist, Jhony Silva Aranjuren was shot dead by police while attending a rally at the University of Valle, in the city of Cali.
** 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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