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Saturday 20 July 2019

At-risk Iraqi scholar finds refuge at college

An Iraqi academic whose life was in danger in her own country has found a safe haven at NUI Galway, writes Brian McDonald.

The Galway University's Centre for Human Rights yesterday welcomed Dr Sawsan Ismail -- the first 'Scholar at Risk' to find refuge in Ireland.

Dr Sawsan -- with funding from a Bank of Ireland Fellowship Scheme -- will be able to continue her academic research in Galway.

A renowned international academic and author, she fled Iraq last year following the death threats and attacks on her family members and friends.

She was targeted for her involvement with the International Committee for Solidarity with Iraqi Academics, which seeks to support academic freedom in Iraq. Her family, including her husband, remain in Iraq.

Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh of the Centre for Human Rights at NUIG said: "There is an obligation on the part of the international community of scholars to demand that the fundamental freedoms of academics be enshrined around the world."

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