Academia and Activism and Scholars at Risk

How can one be, if at all, an academic and activist? Come to the Library on Wednesday December 5 @ 2:45 to hear students from Dr Melanie Adrian’s LAWS 4903A class present on their work with the Scholars at Risk program. The students have been working all semester with human rights activists and organizations, as well as another class from the University of British Columbia, on the active and ongoing human rights cases of 6 different scholars who are currently being persecuted for their research and activism: one from India, two from Iran, and three from the Uyghur Muslim minority in China.

When: Wed, Dec 5

Time: 2:45-4:30

Where: Discovery Centre, by the windows at the far end

What to expect: Student experts speaking about and advocating for a scholar currently imprisoned due to their research

More details about the scholars:

Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba, India: A scholar of English literature at Delhi University, who has been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison, Professor Saibaba has engaged in human rights activism on behalf of vulnerable populations in India, including tribal groups who suffer from poverty and human rights violations due to the prolonged conflict between India and the separatist Communist Party of India (Maoist). He has also been denied access to needed medical care.

Niloufar Bayani, Iran: Ms Bayani is a researcher, conservationist, and scholar with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, who was arrested in January 2018 along with some colleagues on charges of espionage, and who recently reported being subjected to torture in Iran.

Ahmadreza Djalali, Iran: An Iranian-born resident of Sweden who teaches at universities in Italy and Belgium, Dr Djalali is a scholar of disaster medicine who has been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. Since his arrest in April 2016, Dr. Djalali has been refused medical care despite rapidly deteriorating health issues.

Rahile Dawut, Ilham Tohti, Abdulqadir Jalaleddin, China: These three professors all belong to the Uyghur Muslim minority in China. Professor Dawut from Xinjiang University in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a world-renowned scholar of Uyghur folklore and traditions, disappeared in China in 2017, and is suspected of being held by state authorities at one of its so-called “re-education camps” or another detention facility. Professor Tohti, a public intellectual and economics professor at Central Minzu University in Beijing, and an advocate for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority group, was convicted in September 2014 on charges of separatism and sentenced to life in prison, after a trial that was closed to the public, and has very limited access to his family. Finally, in January 2018, Chinese authories raided the home of Professor Jalaleddin, a literature professor at Xingiang Pedagogical University, and took him into custody.  He has been held at a re-education camp ever since, with no actual charges against him and no access to legal counsel or family.