The annual council meeting of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) which was held in Scarborough in the UK between May 10-12 2006 adopted a motion by overwhelming majority calling for the immediate withdraw of troops from Afghanisatan and Iraq and for opposition against any attack on Iran. It also expressed its deepest concerns on the systematic liquidation of academics in Iraq and resolved to join the Stop the War Coalition.
The AUT represents well over 48,000 university and higher education academics and professionals in the UK. An executive amendment to delete the last sentence of the motion which contains opposition to an attack on Iran was defeated overwhelmigly by the council meeting.
Here is the text of the motion.
A little known aspect of the tragedy engulfing Iraq is the systematic liquidation of the country's academics. Council notes that since April 30, 2003, more than 250 college professors have been the targets of assassination according to the Iraqi Union of University Lecturers. Among the 250 professors assassinated to date include: Muhammad al-Rawi, President of Baghdad University (July 27, 2003); Dr. Abdul Latif al-Mayah a Professor of Political Science at Baghdad's Mustansiriya University (late January 2003); Dr. Nafa Aboud, a Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Baghdad; Dr Sabri al-Bayati; a Geographer at the University of Baghdad; Dr. Falah al-Dulaimi, Assistant Dean of College at Mustansariya University; Dr. Hissam Sharif, Department of History of the University of Baghdad; and Professor Wajih Mahjoub of the College of Physical Education.
According to the United Nations University, some 84 per cent of Iraq's institutions of higher education have already been burnt, looted or destroyed. Iraq's educational system used to be among the best in the region; one of the country's most important assets was its well-educated people. This situation is a mirror of the occupation as a whole: a catastrophe of staggering proportions unfolding in a climate of criminal disregard. As an occupying power, and under international humanitarian law, final responsibility for protecting Iraqi citizens, including academics, lies with the United States.
i Council requests that an independent international investigation be launched immediately to probe these extrajudicial killings. This investigation should also examine the issue of responsibility to clearly identify who is accountable for this state of affairs. Council appeals to the special rapporteur on summary executions at UNHCHR in Geneva.
ii Council notes that leading neo-cons like Francis Fukiyama who supported the invasion of Iraq have now repudiated the war, arguing that it was a huge mistake. Council notes that the cost of the Iraq war and the intervention in Afghanistan would pay for our pay claim many times over. Council therefore supports the Stop the War coalition in its aim to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and its opposition for an attack on Iran and resolve to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition.
... Payvand News - 5/16/06 ... --