Endangered Scholars Worldwide
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Endangered Scholars Worldwide

The information in this quarterly print report is current as of April 10, 2017. The situation of scholars and students around the world changes on a daily basis. For the most up-to-date information and ways in which you can be involved in calling for the freedom of endangered scholars and students, please visit www.endangeredscholarsworldwide.net or follow us at www.facebook.com/endangeredscholars. In these pages we simply introduce new cases that have come to our attention in the past three months and provide basic information about continuing cases—a description of charges and potential or actual reported sentences. If you are aware of a scholar or student whose case you believe we should investigate, please contact us at esw@newschool.edu.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide Urges Hungary to Rethink Closure of Central European University

On Monday, April 10, 2017, Hungary's president signed a law that could lead to the closure of Central European University (CEU).

The Hungarian Parliament voted in favor of the bill submitted to Parliament on March 28, 2017, by Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Resources. The bill claimed "irregularities" were found in the operation of foreign-based universities. While no universities are specifically named, it has been widely noted that the legislation seems to target CEU. A total of 123 MPs voted for the bill, widely referred to as Lex CEU, and 38 opposition MPs voted against it.

Starting January 1, 2018, CEU will no longer be permitted to enroll new students in any programs unless an agreement is reached by September 2017 between the United States government, the State [End Page v] of New York, and the Hungarian government. In addition, the legislation will force CEU to open a campus in New York State (where it is also accredited) and change its name. It would also eliminate a waiver that allows academic staff from non-EU nations to work at the university without a work permit.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide strongly deplores and condemns the legislation as part of a power play by Prime Minister Viktor Orban against liberal values. The new law is a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, autonomy, security, and safety of a prominent European university and its more than 2200 faculty members, students, and academic staff.

We urge all European governments, international organizations, university presidents, the US Department of State, academic and professional associations, student groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to speak up and defend academic freedom and autonomy, and strongly protest and condemn this injudicious law, to call for immediate withdrawal of the law that directly and deliberately threatens the existence of an accomplished and internationally acclaimed university in the country.

We urge the officials of the Hungarian government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of autonomy of higher education as specified in international conventions and treaties to which Hungary has long been a signatory.

Please send appeals to:

  • Zoltán Kovács

  • International Spokesperson

  • Tel: +36 1 896 1905

  • Fax: +36 1 795 0410

  • Email: intcomm@mk.gov.hu

CC:

  • István Mikola

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

  • Bem rakpart 47

  • 1027 Budapest

  • Hungary

  • Phone: +36 1 458 1000

  • Fax: +36 1 212 5918 [End Page vi]

  • Rex W. Tillerson

  • United States Secretary of State

  • Office of Foreign Missions

  • U.S. Department of State

  • 2201 C Street NW

  • Washington, DC 20520 USA

  • Email: OFMInfo@state.gov

  • Nikki Haley

  • U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

  • U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations

  • 799 United Nations Plaza

  • New York, NY 10017 USA

  • Kishore Singh

  • United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

  • Palais des Nations

  • CH-1211 Geneva 10

  • Switzerland

  • Email: sreducation@ohchr.org

  • David Kaye

  • United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression

  • Palais des Nations

  • CH-1211 Geneva 10

  • Switzerland

  • Fax: +41 22 917 9006

  • Email: freedex@ohchr.org

  • Federica Mogherini

  • High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

  • European Commission

  • Rue de la Loi...



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