Advocacy by BRISMES Council
BRISMES advocates on behalf of its members on issues that are relevant to our work to encourage and promote interest in Middle East Studies by supporting research and education, disseminating knowledge, deepening public understanding of the region within the UK and throughout the world, and where necessary defending academic freedom and speaking out.
On 18 May 2022, BRISMES Council wrote to the Egyptian and UK governments to express our serious and urgent concern regarding the arrest and detention of Alaa ‘Abd El-Fattah and to call for his immediate release.
We call upon the Egyptian government to follow the precedent of other human rights defenders who have recently been freed such as Ramy Shaath, and immediately free Alaa ‘Abd El-Fattah and all other peaceful protesters, critics and human rights defenders, and to drop all charges against them.
We also call upon the UK government to unreservedly condemn such ill-treatment and to exercise all legal and diplomatic instruments available to it in order to press upon its Egyptian counterparts the importance of guaranteeing the human rights and health of Mr ‘Abd El-Fattah and of other human rights defenders, guaranteeing consular access and full support for Mr ‘Abd El-Fattah.
Letter to the Egyptian government
- On 6 July 2022, a reply was received from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Read the letter from FCDO
- Written evidence (FOE0145) submitted on 29 January 2021 to the Human Rights (Joint Committee)'s inquiry, Freedom of Expression by BRISMES regarding the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. BRISMES contends that there is considerable evidence that the IHRA definition does not provide equal protection for everyone’s right to freedom of expression, is incompatible with principles of academic freedom and is likely to stifle freedom of speech in the university system. Published online on 21 September 2021.
- Statement from BRISMES Council on the latest escalation in Israel/Palestine. 20 May 2021
- BRISMES statement of concern regarding the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, 20 January 2021
- Letter to the BBC regarding the location of Ariel University in a recent NEUROSCIENCE article 'Why you should read this out loud', 11 November 2020
- Reply from the BBC, 24 November 2020
- Letter to Molecules regarding the address of Ariel University listed in the forthcoming Molecules Special Issue "Advances in Organic Fluorophores: Design, Synthesis, and Applications", 11 November 2020
- Letter to University of East London VC regarding the threat of redundancy of Social Sciences Professors at UEL, 9 October 2020
- The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings website indicates that Ariel University is located in Israel, Samaria. Read the letter from BRISMES which asks THE to rectify the address of Ariel University as Occupied Palestinian Territory in line with the United Nations definition, 7 October 2020
- Reply from THE, 12 October 2020
- The Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy (BIRD) conducted research into links between the University of Huddersfield (UoH) and Bahrain's Royal Academy of Policing (RAP). Since 2018, the UoH has been providing an exclusive MSc in Security Science to officers at the RAP. However, The Times and the Yorkshire Post revealed in February that at least 10 political prisoners in Bahrain have testified to being tortured at the RAP site, which is adjacent to Bahrain's largest prison. BIRD consequently circulated an open letter calling on the UoH to drop the MSc and end their toxic relationship with Bahrain's Ministry of Interior. BRISMES Council joined BIRD in calling on the UoH to suspend the MSc, pending an independent investigation. 10 September 2020.
- BRISMES Council joined academics in Australia and internationally in expressing concern about the safety and well-being of Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, imprisoned in Iran since 2018, and called on the Australian government and University of Melbourne to do everything they can to alleviate her living conditions and secure her release. 4 August 2020
- BRISMES expresses solidarity with those facing the daily realities of anti-Black racism and the global movements they have catalysed. Read the Statement of Solidarity from BRISMES, 29 July 2020
- Letter to UK ministers from professional associations calling for a new deal for higher education, 17 June 2020
- Replies from the central government, governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Letter to Durham University VC protesting the ending of administrative services to BRISMES, 10 December 2019
Database of Expertise
The Database of Expertise in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies provides a publicly available list of MENA experts with their research and areas of expertise.Search Now