Silencing the Classroom: persecuted academics share their experiences

LSE Scholars At Risk in partnership with CARA.

  • Speakers: Mina Al Lami; Dr Marwan Naser; Dr Shumba Nephat
  • Chair: Dr Margot E. Salomon
  • Date and time: Tuesday 19 October 2010, 6.30-8pm


Academic freedom, and the freedom of scholars is under threat around the world. In volatile regions where illiberal regimes prevail scholars are a target, often because of their instrumental role in advocating for change. In this panel event, scholars who have faced such threats will talk about their experiences.


Mina Al-Lami is an Iraqi Visiting Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications, under the LSE Scholars At Risk scheme. For the last two years Mina has been doing research on Islamic extremist groups. Her research focus is the media and propaganda of jihadist groups on the Internet, online radicalisation, and online counter-extremism measures. She is currently researching the transition from online to offline jihadism. Prior to fleeing to the UK, she served as a security information analyst with the United Nations-Iraq and lecturer of English language at Baghdad University.

Marwan Naser is a Palestinian Visiting Fellow in the Department of International Development under the LSE Scholars At Risk scheme, with the support of the Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund. Marwan is an economist specialising in Palestinian development. He was completing his PhD in France when he was threatened by Hamas if he returned to Gaza. Before being awarded the fellowship at LSE he had been living in exile, unable to resume his academic career, or see any members of his family. Since joining LSE he has resumed his research and has engaged in some teaching though the School's consultancy arm, LSE Enterprise.

Shumba Nephat is a refugee academic from Zimbabwe, and is currently supported by a grant from CARA. Shumba became politically active in Zimbabwe when he was at school. When crisis broke out in Zimbabwe in 1990 this lead to changes within the school system. Nephat opposed these changes and spoke out against them - making his name known as someone who was anti-government. Nephat became further involved with political issues when he became president of his University's student council. When the University was closed and Nephat received threats he fled to the UK.

Margot E. Salomon (chair) is Senior Lecturer in Law in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Law Department at LSE, and a founding member of the steering committee of the LSE Scholars At Risk scheme.

The LSE Scholars at Risk scheme is supported by the LSE Annual Fund. LSE is a member of the Scholars at Risk international network of universities, colleges and individuals pledged in solidarity to protect threatened colleagues and to promote academic freedom. This event is part of an international series marking the 10th Anniversary of the SAR Network.