Harvard professor warns students about attending events in Thailand due to repression at Thai unis

A Harvard Professor has sent a warning to current Harvard students studying abroad or looking to attend events in Thailand that they may face punitive action due to deteriorating academic freedoms.

Dr James Robson, a professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the former Director of Graduate Studies for the Regional Studies, wrote a letter to Harvard’s Vice Provost for International Affairs expressing his concerns for Harvard students overseas.

“Students intending to participate in Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP) activities in Thailand should be aware that academic freedom has been severely curtailed at several Thai institutions, including Chulalongkorn University,” the statement said before continuing.

“…this restriction has especially affected those demanding political change. HCAP students attending events at that university should be aware that they place themselves under the same threat of punitive action as local students…”

Dozens of student protesters have been arrested by the Thai military-backed government for participating in protests and calling for reforms of once-sacred institutions.

Many have been remanded without bail and face up to fifteen years in prison for violating the country’s draconian lese majeste laws.

Many of Thailand’s most prestigious universities have stopped students from participating in solidarity protests or organizing political events.


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