Crack-down in Bahrain

We talked about Bahrain in our last podcast. I have been in touch with students and professors there for a story on the how the crackdown on the country's Shia protest movement has affected universities for The Chronicle of Higher Education. The incredible verdicts against doctors have gotten the most attention, but students and professor have also been targeted: 

On October 3, six university students were sentenced to 15-year jail terms and another student to an 18-year term by a special military court. They were accused of attempted murder, arson, and vandalism in connection with clashes that took place on the campus of the University of Bahrain, the main national university, on March 13. The students and their supporters say the violence that day was carried out by Bahrain security forces and government supporters, none of whom have been charged.

Other students and professors are facing charges of illegal assembly, incitement, and disturbing the peace. At least 100 professors and university administrators have been fired, and about 60 students have been denied the right to continue their studies.

After the jump I'm attaching an interview with an (anonymous, by necessity) fired Bahraini university professor that didn't make it into the piece. 

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Students and professors in the revolution

I just wrote something for The Chronicle of Higher Education about the role that professors and students played (and hope to play in the future) in the revolution. Groups like March 9 (established by professors to fight for academic freedom) and 6 April (established in solidarity with labour strikes but seemingly also the most active left-wing group among university students) played a role not just in planning and joining the protests, but in laying the groundwork for them. It will be interesting to see if, when national universities re-open next week, we'll see a surge of activism on campuses, which have been tightly monitored and controlled until now.

I'm also curious about the role that high-profile scientists and academics may have in the new government. The Egyptian-American scientists and Nobel winner Ahmad Zewail, in particular, seems to be someone worth watching.