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Letter of Support by Colleagues and Personal Friends of Emad Shahin

[The following letter was issued on 26 May 2015 in support of Emad Shahin, a professor at the American University of Cairo (AUC) whose was charged, tried, and recently sentenced to death (in absentia) as part of a broader set of cases brought forth by the regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.]

For those familiar with even the barest facts of the case, the provisional sentence of Emad al-Din Shahin,  to death seems appalling.  Professor Shahin is a widely respected and accomplished academic who has taught at Notre Dame, Harvard, Georgetown, the American University in Cairo, and George Washington University.  He has no record of organized political activity. The list of the other alleged participants—a group that resembles a list of political opponents and associates and technocratic aides of ousted President Muhammad Morsi far more than it does a real set of plotters—makes the charges seem even more improbable.

We, the undersigned colleagues and personal friends of Professor Shahin, wish to add our voices to those who have expressed deep concern over the provisional sentence of death.  But we do more: based on our personal knowledge of Professor Shahin’s character, activities, and scholarship, we state that the charges are so utterly alien to his character as to lack any credibility whatsoever.  Professor Shahin is a figure known for his integrity and dedication to his work. Like many of us, he is not afraid to draw on his expertise to speak on public issues.  He was also clearly distressed by the polarization that took place in Egypt and shared the aspirations of millions of Egyptians for a more democratic and accountable political order.  These are not crimes by any stretch of the imagination.

Espionage and treason—the sorts of vague allegations included in the indictment of Professor Shahin—should not be associated with his name.

We provide this information to Egyptian judicial, security, and political authorities in order to clear Professor Shahin’s name. We call on governments throughout the world to speak out and communicate their concern to their Egyptian counterparts and to rebuff any efforts to restrict Professor Shahin’s movements, speech, and activities.

(Names in alphabetical order, titles and institutions for identification purposes only)

  • Osama Abi-Mershed, Director, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abdullah Al-Arian, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Walter Armbrust, Associate Professor, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford and Albert Hourani Fellow of Modern Middle Eastern Studies, St. Antony's College
  • Holger Albrecht, American University in Cairo 
  • Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Stanford University
  • Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics, Brandeis University
  • Jonathan A. C. Brown, Georgetown University
  • Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Jason Brownlee, Professor of Government and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin
  • Sheila Carapico, Professor of Political Science, University of Richmond and formerly of the American University in Cairo 
  • Elliott Colla, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
  • Christian Davenport, Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate with Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan
  • Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University
  • Larry Diamond, Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford Universit
  • Michele Dunne, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • John P. Entelis, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and Director, Middle East Studies Program, Fordham University; President, American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS)
  • John L Esposito, University Professor & Founding Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
  • Dalia Fahmy, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Long Island University
  • Khaled Fahmy, Professor of History, American University in Cairo
  • Ellis Goldberg, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
  • Joel Gordon, Professor of History and Director, King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, University of Arkansas
  • Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
  • Clement M. Henry, Visiting Research Professor, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore
  • Amaney Jamal, Associate Professor of Politics,  Princeton University
  • Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt
  • Mark LeVine is Professor of Middle Eastern History at University of California at Irvine
  • Abdel-Fattah Mady, Alexandria University
  • Radwan A. Masmoudi, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy
  • Michael McFaul, Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University
  • Roger Owen, Harvard University
  • James Piscatori, Professor of International Relations, Durham University
  • William B. Quandt, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Andrea Rugh Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute
  • Ambassador (retired) William A. Rugh
  • Hesham Sallam, Stanford University
  • Samer Shehata, University of Oklahoma
  • Robert Springborg, Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School (retired)
  • Joshua Stacher, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kent State University
  • Alfred Stepan, Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, Columbia University
  • Judith E. Tucker, Professor of History, Georgetown University
  • John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History, Georgetown University.
  • Dr. Michael J. Willis, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
  • I. William Zartman is Professor Emeritus, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University 

 

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