Scholars, academic staff and students across the globe continue to face threats while Turkey has been singled out as the home to the highest number of reported attacks, according to a recent report.
In its Tuesday report, titled Free to Think 2017, SAR documented 257 attacks in 35 countries where higher education participants, whether be lecturers, students or personnel, were subject to killings, violence, disappearances, imprisonment, prosecution, loss of position and travel restrictions, between Sept 1, 2016 and Aug 31, 2017. The report said 49 of such incidents took place in Turkey alone.
At least 1,308 scholars, staff and students in Turkey were subject to detention, arrest, warrant, or wrongful prosecution over the past year while total number goes up to 1,404 when expanding the time frame to cover between Jan 1, 2016 to Aug 31, 2017, according to SAR.
Of the current figure, SAR said, 990 were imprisoned and the remaining 318 have outstanding arrest warrants.
From Jan 1, 2016 to Aug 31, 2017, 7,023 academic and administrative personnel were removed from their positions while 294 students were expelled under post-coup emergency decrees.
“Until the authorities reverse this order, 6,922 higher education personnel are barred from traveling abroad to seek appropriate employment; from participating in academic conferences, workshops, and other opportunities for international collaboration; and from otherwise exercising their right to freedom of movement. …Authorities have ordered to lift travel restrictions and restore employment status for 101 of these personnel,” SAR added.
The report mentioned the dismissed academics who attempted to escape Turkey illegally in order to avoid further persecution, meanwhile, urging the government to remove travel restrictions.