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Open Letter re Thai Coup and Intellectual Freedom

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Open Letter re Thai Coup and Intellectual Freedom

Published in The Guardian on 10/6/14

To: General Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the coup in Thailand
From: UK academics and university staff and students

We note the military coup d’état in Thailand (22 May 2014) – the 13th since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932. We stand with those protesters who are calling for a return to constitutional rule by a civilian government.

As academics and university staff and students, we also wish to express particular concern at the surveillance, harassment, and round-up of academics and students calling for democracy and the reinstatement of civilian rule. Academics and students who have been critics of the lèse-majesté law have been summonsed and we understand that some have gone into hiding as a result. We join with all others who have also called upon the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army to immediately release politicians, activists, journalists, academics and others who have been harassed and imprisoned following the military summons to stop making any political criticism or comment. We condemn the move ordering universities to monitor the political activities of staff and students on campuses, and are also concerned that some universities have issued orders to their staff and students to refrain from making any political comment in the public sphere.

We support and admire the courage of university staff and students who continue to gather at Thammasat University and other protest sites. Intellectual freedom and freedom of speech are fundamental tenets of a democratic society and functioning university system alike and we urge their restoration.

Professor Gurminder K Bhambra, University of Warwick
Professor John Holmwood, University of Nottingham
Professor Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Ipek Demir, University of Leicester
Dr Kirsten Forkert, Birmingham City University
Dr Robbie Shilliam, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London
Mark Carrigan, University of Warwick
Dr John Narayan, University of Warwick
Dr Madhumita Lahiri, University of Warwick
Dr Peo Hansen, Linköping University
Dr Daniel Orrells, University of Warwick
Professor Luke Martell, University of Sussex
Professor Andrew Sayer, Lancaster University
Dr Malcolm MacLean, University of Gloucestershire
Emeritus Professor Gavin Edwards, University of South Wales
Professor Raphael Salkie, University of Brighton
Dr Nessa Cronin, National University of Ireland, Galway
Professor Jonathan S. Davies, De Montfort University
Dr Jo Ingold, University of Leeds
Professor William Outhwaite, University of Newcastle
Lauren Tooker, University of Warwick
Professor Larry Ray, University of Kent
Dr Justin Cruickshank, University of Birmingham
Professor Robert Fine, University of Warwick
Dr Rosa Vasilaki, University of Bristol
Dr Carole Jones, University of Edinburgh
Bernard Sufrin (Emeritus Fellow, Worcester College) University of Oxford
Professor Nickie Charles, University of Warwick
Dr Luke Yates, University of Manchester
Claire Blencowe, University of Warwick
Professor Patrick Ainley, University of Greenwich
Dr Kevin McSorley, University of Portsmouth
Gabriel Newfield (retired Pro-Director), University of Hertfordshire
Professor Mick Carpenter, University of Warwick
Dr Andrea Hajek, University of Glasgow
Lisa Tilley, University of Warwick
Dr Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick
Dr J. Sanchez Taylor, University of Leicester
Dr David Featherstone, University of Glasgow
Dr Angela Last, University of Glasgow
Dr Bryn Jones, University of Bath
Simon Dawes (independent scholar)
Prof Chris Jones, Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Vivienne Jackson
Chrysi Papaioannou, University of Leeds
Lee Mackinnon, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick
Dr Geoff Williams, University College London
Dr Hannah Jones, University of Warwick

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