America’s legal philosopher, Benjamin Cardozo once wrote, “Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.”
In many countries that freedom is just an idea. In Ethiopia, Colombia, or China, speaking your mind can get you killed or land you in jail, though the punishment is often more subtle: threats, vandalism, or academic isolation.
One group that tries to help is called Scholars At Risk. It is an organization that helps those on the frontlines of free thinking and free expression — academics and local activists — who fight against human rights abuses, and oppression. It carries on a long an honorable tradition of providing shelter or safe haven for those who have something to say, and a homeland where it can’t be spoken aloud. Freeing speech and thought.
Robert Quinn, Professor of Law at Fordham University and Director of Scholars at Risk Network based at NYU
Habib Rahiab, research fellow at the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, and a former Human Rights Watch researcher in Afghanistan
Tatah Mentan, Visiting Professor of Political Science at Illinois Wesleyan University, formerly a Professor of Politics in Cameroon.