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Freedom of Political Expression: An Integral Part of Academic Freedom and Rule of Law

Unanimously adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1997, the definition of teacher-student rights and academic freedom emphasises four key points: the right, without constriction by prescribed doctrine, to freedom of teaching and discussion, freedom in carrying out research and disseminating and publishing the results thereof, freedom to express their …

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Sex, criminality, hopelessness, and…beauty

“Today, they brought a little boy to the shelter again. He was beaten violently by his mother and step-father. Both of them are drug-addicted people, the child is not well, and we took him to hospital. The incident has already been reported to the relevant authorities.”   This text was written by Kamala Aghazade, a …

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Notes from Tbilisi International Book Festival

As a writer, my friends on my social media accounts mainly consist of people working in the publishing sector and media: Publishers, writers, journalists, translators. Quite a lot of people on this list are from Georgia, a neighbouring country to my homeland. Since the year started, posts shared by Georgians on my friend lists suddenly …

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Women of the Gulf deserve equal rights

Governments in the Gulf are deliberately using women to whitewash their image before the international community, at a time when patriarchy permeates all aspects of society from political, economic, social and religious powers. Saudi women demanded the lifting of the guardianship of men over them; this system allows any male in the family to control …

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West Bengal Elections: An Insider’s view from the Outside

I have lived in the United States for over 35 years now.  Over time I lost touch with Indian politics.  While I kept track of the major events, the daily intrigues, twists and turns in the Indian political world did not hold any interest for me.  Things changed about a month and a half ago …

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Gender-based violence in the Rohingya camps

Who are they? The Rohingya, a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic Muslim minority group, are from the northern part of the Rakhine state of Myanmar. They are not recognised as citizens by the governments of either Myanmar or Bangladesh. According to Human Rights Watch, ‘the Rohingya population is denied citizenship under the 1982 Myanmar nationality law. Despite traces of Rohingya …

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The State of Freedom of Expression in Iran

In Iran, in the last few years, both in 2017 or 2019, two massive protests against the government took place, accompanied by severe repression and the killing of several hundred protesters. As a result, Marxist and socialist accounts that expose class divide in Iranian society and show the consequences of neoliberal economics have been censored …

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The Music of peace (Shanti Shanti Om)

No more star-light in the sky, only owls and bats cry under the rotten Moon, with the wind of violent pleasure they just fly, they just fly. Everything is burning— things that were precious once, everything is burning burning into ash and dust the Chaos flame squeezing life from the poet burning in everything— things …

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Canvassing in the COVID times: Reasons for hope

What came next is personally satisfying, but with time it became way more than that. The system is built on trust, trust in the volunteers spread around the country by the campaigns, the mutual trust of volunteers on each other, and the voters’ trust that we reach on the volunteers like us. First, a bit …

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