Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scholars at Risk Welcomes Release of Chinese Artist and Iranian Scholar

 
 Scholars at Risk welcomed the release of two public intellectuals: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was released from detention on June 22nd; and Iranian scholar Emadeddin Baghi, who was released from Evin Prison in Tehran on June 20th.  
 
Scholars at Risk is an international network of over 250 universities and colleges in 30 countries dedicated to promoting academic freedom and defending the human rights of scholars worldwide.  Scholars at Risk was among the many human rights groups and academic associations advocating for Ai Weiwei’s and Mr. Baghi’s release.  SAR remains concerned for the many other scholars, artists, writers and intellectuals who reportedly have been detained in China and Iran in recent months and urges appropriate authorities in both countries to encourage an atmosphere conducive to the free and open exchange of information and ideas. 
 
Ai Weiwei, a prominent artist and intellectual who has publicly called for political reform in China, was detained on April 3, 2011 at the airport in Beijing.  He was held at an undisclosed location where he was permitted only one visit with his wife over the past three months, and he was released on bail on June 22, 2011.
 
Emadeddin Baghi is a scholar, journalist and recipient of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.  Mr. Baghi was arrested, without charge, at his home on December 28, 2009 and taken to an undisclosed location where he was denied regular access to family, counsel and medical care.  He was released on bail in June of 2010 and was sentenced soon afterward to six years in prison and a five-year media and politics ban. Mr. Baghi was reimprisoned on December 5, 2010 and was finally released unconditionally on June 20, 2011.
 
For information on SAR’s advocacy work, please visit: http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu/Education-Advocacy/Alerts-Scholars-in-Prison.php.  For more information on Scholars at Risk, please visit: www.scholarsatrisk.org.
 
(SAR Press Release)

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