Matthew Keracher | Tue, 18 Sep 2018
Today, a judge in Istanbul ordered the release of University of Aberdeen graduate Dr. Hanifi Bariş.
Hanifi, who is expected to leave prison this evening, was arrested on Wednesday 4th July, and has been in prison for the past 76 days. The judge also imposed an international travel ban, ruling that he sign into the authorities every week and ordering him to another hearing later in the year.
“I am in awe of the horrors of such a case as this...I did not think the posts I shared were a crime requiring a defense...I have a PhD in political science on Kurdish issues. I therefore shared academic articles and news […] the shares are from reputable international news organisations. They are for academic purposes […]”
Hanifi, who presented his own defense, reportedly stated: “I am in awe of the horrors of such a case as this...I did not think the posts I shared were a crime requiring a defense...I have a PhD in political science on Kurdish issues. I therefore shared academic articles and news […] the shares are from reputable international news organisations. They are for academic purposes […]”
In a statement, Hanifi's friend and former colleague Dr. Anna Grudzińska, told the Gaudie:
"We are delighted with this news today. Hanifi is a brilliant academic. His writing is thought-provoking and incisive. Most importantly, he is a wonderful friend and colleague. This is probably why his incarceration united so many people and has made us rethink what the word 'university' really means. Namely, we believe that a university is more than people solely connected by the name of their employer or pay cheque. Instead, we see it as a community of shared values. This principal is so important particularly as we are seeing freedom of expression increasingly under threat."
Despite receiving no concrete institutional support from the University of Aberdeen for their campaign, today friends and colleagues of Hanifi celebrated all over the world. Although the institution adopted an impartial stance to the case, close to 5000 students and supporters signed an online petition demanding Hanifi's release. It included the names of world-renowned scholars and thinkers such as Étienne Balibar, Judith Butler and Engin Isin.
Friends and colleagues of Hanifi, and campaigners from the FreeHanifi campaign, are invited to celebrate his release next Wednesday, 26th September in the St.Machar Bar from 3:30pm.