I am Bronwen Mehta, a University of Warwick PhD student conducting research into online gender activism in the MENA region. Navigating restrictive publishing environments as a writer and editor in Cairo for several years, I became fascinated and concerned by how limitations to our freedom of expression confine our realities and imaginaries. Taking these concerns into the advocacy sphere, I contributed to the CGHR’s project advising the UNHCR on their General Comment 37 on the right of peaceful assembly. This right is fundamental to how we as academics organise and communicate our findings and concerns to the wider community. I see serving on this committee as a natural expansion of my expertise and passion for protecting these rights of expression.
Furthermore, as a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, I am dismayed by the continuous suppression of academics when it comes to topics related to Israel-Palestine. I see it as our responsibility as an academic community to speak out in the face of injustices, and as someone with experience writing for a range of professional and academic audiences, I see it as my personal responsibility to use my skill-set to further these efforts. As the former BRISMES conference coordinator, I had the privilege of witnessing discussions being had by the Committee on Academic Freedom. Their important work, as well as the work of BRISMES campaigns, are exactly why I was so proud to be part of this organisation and will continue to be an active member throughout my academic career.