Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, ISA President; Mark Boyer, ISA Executive Director; Omar McDoom, ISA Academic Freedom Committee Chair posted on June 30, 2021 13:55
The Academic Freedom Committee of the International Studies Association (ISA) expresses grave concern for the state of academic freedom in the Tigray region of Ethiopia following attacks led by the combined forces of the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean military, and the Amhara regional forces and militia.
We are concerned by mounting information indicating that university campuses have been and continue to be targeted in the ongoing military campaign. In November 2020, an air strike led by the Ethiopian government injured many university students at the Meles Academy campus in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region1. More recently, Mekelle, Adigrat, and Aksum universities, also in Tigray, have been targeted with reports of looting and destruction of their campuses, the rape of students, as well as the killing of at least four university lecturers.2
ISA is the largest and most respected scholarly association in the field, counting over 6,500 members across some 100 countries. On behalf of its membership, we call upon the Ethiopian government and all military actors involved to respect academic freedom and to halt and prevent further attacks on university campuses, scholars, and students.
We stand in solidarity with our academic colleagues in the Tigray region, including faculty, students, and staff; and we call on the Ethiopian authorities and all armed actors involved to guarantee a return to safety in academic institutions across the region.
For further information about ISA’s deliberative processes on academic freedom concerns and the committee’s mandate from the Governing Council, please see: http://www.isanet.org/ISA/Governance/Committees/Academic-Freedom.
Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, President, International Studies Association
Mark Boyer, ISA Executive Director
Omar McDoom, Chair, ISA Academic Freedom Committee
1. For details, see: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-conflict-airstrike-idUSKBN27Z2P0, accessed 22 June 2021.↩
2. For details, see: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349750000, accessed 22 June 2021. ↩