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Protect scientists' rights

Wherever scientists' freedom or basic rights are threatened as a result of their work, CFRS may take action to help rectify the situation, particularly if its intervention could provide effective relief.

Providing assistance for scientists

CFRS can take action to assist individual scientists or groups of scientists, notably in cases where its assistance can bring additional relief. According to its mission (PDF), the Committee can go public in specific cases, such as it did by writing to Nature regarding Kemal Gürüz in Turkey in 2012 (PDF) and regarding the situation of the scientific community in Iraq in 2006 (PDF).

The Committee currently monitors the situation of the following individual scientists or groups of scientists:

  • 'Ali 'Esa Mansoor al-'Ekri, Bahrain
  • Büşra Ersanlı, Turkey
  • Omid Kokabee, Iran
  • Bahá’í community leaders, Iran

For information of the Committee's action in theses cases, see the CFRS meeting reports.


Solidarity with the scientific community in Turkey

In January 2016, CFRS joined a wide range of higher education networks and associations from around the world in expressing grave concern over reports of widespread pressures on members of Turkey’s scientific community. In their letter, the organisations responded to reports that Turkish federal prosecutors have placed under investigation more than 1,100 scholars, in apparent retaliation for their co-signing a public petition urging Turkish authorities to renew dialogue with factions in the country’s southeast. The letter notes that some of the scholars have already been investigated for and/or charged with criminal offenses including spreading "terrorist propaganda," "inciting people to hatred, violence and breaking the law," and "insulting Turkish institutions and the Turkish Republic." Dozens of scholars have reportedly already been detained and interrogated, and suspended or forced to resign from their positions at Turkish higher education institutions. CFRS, together with the other signatory organisations, calls on Turkish authorities to intervene before any further harm is done to the scholars, their institutions, and to the reputation of Turkey’s higher education and research sector. The signatories hope that the letter will encourage Turkish officials to end any pending legal, administrative or professional actions undertaken against the scholars concerned and to renew publicly their commitment to internationally recognised principles of academic freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of association.

See also the statements from:

 

Partner organisations

An important source of information is the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. Hosted by the Committee on Human Rights of the US National Academies, the Network provides CFRS with detailed dossiers. In addition, CFRS works with the following organisations at the global level as appropriate:

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