Updated: May 1, 2019
Imad al-Barghouti, a 53-year-old professor of astrophysics at al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, was arrested at an Israeli military checkpoint near the village of Nabi Saleh in the central-occupied West Bank. He had been returning home to a nearby village. Barghouthi was previously arrested in 2014 while passing though the Israeli-controlled border to Jordan on his way to a conference in the United Arab Emirates and was interrogated about material he had posted on Facebook. Protests from scientists worldwide led to his release a month later. Barghouti is a leading researcher, publishing frequently in academic astrophysics journals, and has previously worked for NASA.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide calls for the immediate release of Imad al-Barghouthi. We are concerned about the prosecution, arrest, detention, and professional retaliation of and against Palestinian scholars in response to their nonviolent exercise of the rights to academic freedom, free expression, and free association. These arrests have a profound, chilling effect on academic freedom and may represent a grave threat to higher education on a global scale.