The news is awash with stories of the repression of press freedoms in Asia. Academic freedoms in Asia are equally facing an onslaught from repressive governments. There should be more attention given to what is happening in this area as intellectual freedoms are equally important for democratic progress. Bangkok Post had this article by James Gomez. Here is an excerpt:
Academic freedom is one of the less discussed dimensions of freedom of expression, in comparison to press freedom and freedom of internet users. However, it has recently been thrust into public debate across Asia. As autocracy strengthens across the region, academic freedoms concurrently have deteriorated.
So how has this been taking place across Asia?
In Southeast Asia, for example Thailand, the challenge to academic freedom comes from the ultra-conservative elements in society. Royalists and other conservative groups are acting as vigilantes, attacking some academics and students, who express views perceived as anti-monarchy. As a result, academic work and activities are monitored and these groups lobby universities and higher education authorities to discipline or even expel students and staff.
Read the full article here.