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The Report of Our Human Rights Monitoring Study titled “Campus to be handcuffed” is released

As the Civic Space Studies Association, the report of the human rights monitoring study we carried within the scope of the “Freedom of Expression on Campus” program is published with the title “Campus to be handcuffed.”

Through the monitoring we carried out with the support of the Etkiniz EU Programme, we aim to record, following the pandemic, what happened on campuses regarding the right to organize and peaceful assembly in the context of freedom of expression and to reveal the factors that prevent the use of these rights. In our study, we convey the tendencies that prevent students from enjoying these rights through their experiences in order to support students and universities to continue their presence in a liberal environment.

Our report includes the outcomes of meetings held with student societies and clubs throughout our monitoring, 71 surveys, and ten semi-structured interviews. With our study, through examples, we reveal the negative consequences of remote education calls, which were taken without consulting the students during and after the pandemic, on the use of the right to education and the right to organize. The effects of university students’ problems, such as lack of access to education, full-time work due to the economic crisis, particularly for women and LGBTI+ students returning to their parent’s homes, and the narrowing of safe spaces and restriction of socialization, on their educational lives and the impact on the freedom of association on campuses, are also analyzed. In the report, the students’ statements highlighted that enforcement such as judicial harassment, disciplinary investigations, and suspensions against students who want to exercise their right to organize and peacefully assemble, have intensified during this period. It is stated that event bans on campuses have increased following the pandemic, and bans on establishing clubs and organizing events, particularly for LGBTI+ students, are being tried to become routine.

Finally, in our study, we recommend that to ensure a democratic and free campus environment, remote education, which is arbitrarily decided and implemented, should be abandoned, and club establishment processes should formed according to a regulation compatible with Constitutional rights.

*While we were carrying out the study, we were shaken by the news that we lost Murat Çekiç, a valuable member of the Etkiniz team and one of the consultants of our project. While commemorating our dear Murat Çekiç, who made invaluable contributions to civil society, we dedicate this work to his memory.

Dowload to read the full report.