Tag Archives: Scholars at Risk

Hong Kong: Academics plead with university not to sack professor

August 12, 2019

Prof Tai’s appeal is scheduled for August 15, but pro-Beijing groups are calling on the University of Hong Kong to remove him from his position as an associate professor of law. (stock photo)

Hundreds of international academics have signed an open letter in support of a jailed Hong Kong law professor being held in solitary confinement, urging his university not to dismiss him from his job.

 

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of nine founders of the 2014 Umbrella movement, was sentenced to 16 months in prison in April over public nuisance charges related to his role in the mass protests that lasted for 79 days.

Prof Tai’s appeal is scheduled for August 15, but pro-Beijing groups are calling on the University of Hong Kong to remove him from his position as an associate professor of law. More than 300 academics have signed the letter in support of Prof Tai, released today.

“Professor Tai has expressed his willingness to accept criminal punishment in service of his convictions, he should not be additionally published by losing his academic position,” they say in the letter to Xiang Zhang, president of the University of Hong Kong.

Terry C Halliday, a research professor at the American Bar Foundation, warned that a dismissal would also be a “disaster” for the university’s global reputation.

The university is expected to schedule a disciplinary hearing after Prof Tai’s appeal, having said in April it would follow up on the court’s decision in accordance with its internal procedure.

Another jailed founder of the 2014 movement, Chan Kin-Man was an associate professor of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but retired at the end of 2018 before he was tried. He is also serving a 16-month sentence.

Prof Tai was sent to solitary confinement after joining the city-wide strike by refusing to work in the prison last Monday.

 

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/asia-pacific/academics-plead-with-university-not-to-sack-professor-38394853.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/12/british-academics-call-university-hong-kong-not-dismiss-jailed/

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/08/jailed-hong-kong-democracy-leader-benny-tai-sent-solitary-confinement-strike-action/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai

https://www.law.hku.hk/faculty/staff/tai_benny.php

http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/8/9/n11442207.htm (CHINESE)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai (FRANCAIS)

#BennyTai

Poland: Scholars at Risk concerned about prosecuted law professor Wojciech Sadurski

July 18, 2019

#Poland: SAR is concerned about pending criminal and civil lawsuits against legal scholar Wojciech Sadurski that appear to be in retaliation for comments he made about Poland’s ruling party and a public broadcaster. Read SAR’s report: http://ow.ly/gHYG50v5kfI

(Scholars at Risk Facebook, 18/07/19)

https://verfassungsblog.de/open-letter-in-support-of-professor-wojciech-sadurski/ (POLSKIE)

https://pikio.pl/donald-tusk-1307192-prezydent/ (POLSKIE)

https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/tylko-w-onecie/wojciech-sadurski-populizm-jest-reakcja-na-niedostatki-demokracji-liberalnej/n7hc6f1 (POLSKIE)

https://telewizjarepublika.pl/prof-sadurski-punktuje-rzad-pewny-wygranej-pis-u-wskazuje-pozaluja-dnia-w-ktorym-wygrali,82180.html (POLSKIE)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKIE)

Spain: Scholars at Risk concerned about prosecution of 4 academics and a lawyer

October 25, 2018

Scholars at Risk - Protecting scholars and the freedom to think, question, and share ideas

On October 25, 2018, a Court charged four professors, along with a lawyer, with “disobedience” and “usurpation of functions,” for accepting appointments to serve on an electoral commission for Catalonia’s independence referendum in September 2017. If convicted, they would face up to two years and nine months’ imprisonment.

On September 6, 2017, the Parliament of Catalonia passed the Law on the Referendum on Self-determination of Catalonia. Its passage required the establishment of an electoral commission that would oversee the referendum. The five commission members appointed included four academics — Jordi Matas and Marc Marsal, of Universitat de Barcelona; Tània Verge, of Universitat Pompeu Fabra; and Josep Pagès, of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona — and lawyer Marta Alsina. All five accepted their appointments. Shortly thereafter, a public prosecutor charged the commission members with “disobedience,” “misappropriation of public funds,” and “usurpation of functions.”

Nearly two weeks before the referendum was scheduled to take place, the Spanish government challenged its legality. On September 20, the Spanish Constitutional Court issued a judgment imposing a 12,000 Euro daily fine to each member of the electoral commission until they resigned. They did so on September 22, one day before the fine would go into effect.

2018-10-25 Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/07/grave-concern-for-electoral-monitors-facing-jail-in-spain

https://helpcatalonia.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/letter-of-support-stop-the-repression-against-university-professors/

https://www.elnacional.cat/en/politics/400-academics-guardian-catalan-electoral_332670_102.html

UAE/AI/Ludovic Trarieux Prize: Matthew Hedges: UAE called on to release dozens of free speech campaigners after UK academic’s pardon

November 26, 2018

Since 2011, the UAE has embarked on a “ruthless crackdown targeting human rights defenders, judges, lawyers, academics, students and journalists, apparently designed to stamp out all dissent in the country,” according to Amnesty International.

Rights groups are calling on the United Arab Emirates to release dozens of prisoners of conscience imprisoned in the country following the pardon of British academic Matthew Hedges.

Mr Hedges, a 31-year-old student at Durham University, was arrested in May while leaving Dubai airport after conducting research for his PhD thesis. He was charged with spying and held for five months in solitary confinement, before being sentenced to life in prison.

He denied all the charges, and following intense diplomatic pressure from the British government was granted a pardon by the UAE’s President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

But following his release, Amnesty Internationalhas called for a renewed focus on other detainees held in the UAE, and a “far more robust position from the UK in defence of human rights across the entire Gulf region.”

“Matthew’s ordeal is a reminder that the UAE is a deeply repressive country which ruthlessly suppresses free speech and peaceful criticism, and we should spare a thought for Emirati prisoners of conscience like Ahmed Mansoor or Mohammed al-Roken who aren’t getting a pardon today,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director.

Dr Mohammed al-Roken, a human rights lawyer, was arrested in 2012 in what Amnesty described as a “grossly unfair” trial of 94 reformists known as the UAE 94.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/matthew-hedges-uae-pardon-free-speech-campaign-ai-amnesty-a8653031.html

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/matthew-hedges-pardon-huge-relief-goes-some-way-righting-wrong

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/matthew-hedges-pardoned-uae-spying-dubai-jailed-clemency-case-latest-a8651671.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Al-Rukn

https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovic_Trarieux_International_Human_Rights_Prize (ENGLISH)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.agoravox.it/Formula-1-negli-Emirati-Amnesty.html (ITALIANO)

Turkey: Persecution of Turkish Lawyers | April 2018

April 28, 2018

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25 April | Istanbul|Lawyers Akın Atalay, Mustafa Kemal Gungor, and Bulent Utku were convicted of terrorism charges

Lawyers Akın Atalay and Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Bulent Utku who were chair and board members, and also lawyers of the Cumhuriyet Foundation and its enterprise Cumhuriyet daily were convicted of terrorism charges by Istanbul 27th High Assize Court.

At the end of the 18-month trial against journalists and executives of Cumhuriyet Foundation and its enterprise Cumhuriyet daily, 17 of 20 defendants including three lawyers were convicted of terrorism charges.

Akın Atalay who was chair of the Cumhuriyet Foundation, and also lawyer of Cumhuriyet daily and its several journalists was sentenced to seven years and three months.

Lawyers Mustafa Kemal Gungor and Bulent Utku were sentenced respectively three years and nine months, two years in prison.

25 April | Istanbul|Lawyer and Fox TV Anchor were sentenced to jail term.

Istanbul-Bakırkoy 17th Penal Court sentenced  lawyer Fidel Okan and journalist Ismail Kucukkaya 16 monts and 20 days in prison with the charge of humiliating the public servant.

Persecution of Turkish Lawyers | April 2018

http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/196666-academics-for-peace-granted-2018-courage-to-think-defender-award

http://www.mcall.com/opinion/yourview/mc-turkey-human-rights-berry-0502-20180501-story.html

http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Turkey_-_Turquie/2018/EN_HRL_20180507_Turkey_Convictions-of-lawyers-Ak-n-Atalay-Mustafa-Kemal-Gungor-and-Bulent-Utku.pdf

https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/2018/04/2018-courage-to-think/

https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/

Thailand: Free law student Pai Dao Din!

August 21, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses and text

#HRD law student #PaiDaoDin sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for Facebook post. Write & urge #Thai court to drop charges! ow.ly/7Zvi30eyMme #FreePai

(Scholars at Risk Facebook)

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1306575/pai-dao-din-to-serve-2%C2%BD-years

http://www.chiangraitimes.com/thai-student-jailed-for-lese-majeste-for-posting-article-to-facebook.html

http://time.com/4900936/thailand-pai-dao-din-lese-majeste/

https://prachatai.com/english/node/7331

https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/247654-condenar-estudiante-compartir-redes-rey-tailandia (ESPANOL)

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/thailand-student-muss-wegen-majestaetsbeleidigung-in-haft-a-1162951.html (DEUTSCH)

https://noticias.uol.com.br/ultimas-noticias/efe/2017/08/15/jovem-e-preso-por-compartilhar-um-perfil-da-bbc-sobre-rei-da-tailandia.htm (PORTUGUES)

http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/news/internationalnews/thai-student-leader-jailed-for-lese-majeste-08152017113248.html (VIETNAMESE)