President Donald Trump lived up to his word last week as he signed an executive order that will stop the culture of censorship at public universities.
Today @realDonaldTrump signed an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses
He brought on stage with him a @TPUSA activist who was harassed and bullied on campus by university faculty because of her beliefs
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 21, 2019
The executive order is titled “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency and Accountability at Colleges and Universities” and Trump signed it today at an event featuring many college students who have had their rights violated by leftist campus commissars who are willing to stoop to any level to push their Marxist political ideology.
“Now you have a president that is fighting for you,” Trump said. “I am with you all the way. “Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”
“These universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans,” Trump added. “Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions — universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”
The executive order will give the Trump administration the ability to withhold federal research funding for a particular university or college if they refuse to uphold the freedom of speech of their students as outlined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
“We must encourage institutions to appropriately account for this bedrock principle in their administration of student life and to avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives, thereby potentially impeding beneficial research and undermining learning,” the executive order reads.
“It is the policy of the Federal Government to: encourage institutions to foster environments that promote open, intellectually engaging, and diverse debate, including through compliance with the First Amendment for public institutions and compliance with stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech for private institutions,” the executive order continues.
Trump plans to follow this executive order up with other measures that will further defend freedom of expression against the liberal mob as well. He was joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos who wholeheartedly supports his efforts to protect campus free speech from its leftist opponents.
“As students pursue their education, they should never face limits on what, when, where, or how they learn. They should be empowered to pursue truth through the free exchange of all ideas, especially ideas with which they may not agree. Free inquiry is an essential feature of our democracy, and I applaud the President’s continued support for America’s students,” DeVos said today in a press release about the Executive Order.
Public universities are already bellyaching over being forced to abide by the Bill of Rights. These Marxists lie through their teeth claiming that censorship isn’t a problem on campuses when, as a matter of fact, they have been knowingly perpetrating this anti-American agenda for decades.
“We have serious concerns about the false perceptions regarding free expression fueling the executive order. Freedom of expression is alive and well at Vanderbilt, and at research universities across the country. Weaponizing research dollars for political purposes – dollars used to develop vaccines, treatments and innovations that change people’s lives – is misguided and jeopardizes the historic and robust partnership between America’s research universities and the federal government,” Vanderbilt University wrote in an official response to the order.
“The debates that arise from the exchange of diverse viewpoints are a fundamental part of the intellectual journey of scholarship. As a public campus, we uphold freedom of expression and the right of speakers and audiences to be free from undue disruption and interference as protected by the Constitution,” the University of Utah wrote in their official response to Trump’s initiative.
“Any action by the Executive Branch that interferes with the ability of higher education institutions to address this problem themselves is misguided and in fact sets a very problematic precedent,” University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer said in a statement after Trump announced he would be signing this executive order.
One of the worst RINOs in the Senate – Lamar Alexander (R-TN) – even joined the chorus of crybabies deriding President Trump for actually trying to conserve free speech.
“The U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech,” Alexander said in a statement. “Federal courts define and enforce it. The Department of Justice can weigh in. Conservatives don’t like it when judges try to write laws, and conservatives should not like it when legislators and agencies try to rewrite the Constitution.”
These university Marxists and their weak RINO enablers may not like getting called out for their seditious agenda, but they better get used to it. The tide is beginning to turn against these left-wing bullies as they realize there are consequences for refusing to uphold basic American values.
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Turkey Human Rights, Crackdown on Press Freedom Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny in Geneva
Last week, the UK-based International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR)and the Press Emblem Campaign held an information meeting in Geneva, to coincide with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Turkey over hate crimes, minority, and LGBT rights, and press freedoms with a specific focus on the nation’s crackdown on these rights during the failed 2016 coup and the emergency rule that followed during which the government allegedly used its security powers to arrest thousands of people who opposed it.
Turkey’s human rights record was last reviewed in 2015 during the UPR. This was the third time in 10 years that Turkey’s record has come under review
Diplomats, minister, prominent members of Turkish media and human rights defenders – including those who have been forced into exile – were present at the event. Also in attendance was former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice Ambassador Stephen Rapp. Louise Pyne Jones, head of research, International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) moderated the event. Two panels were held. The first was called “Press Freedom” and included Yavuz Baydar, editor-in-chief of Ahval; Evin Baris Altintas, journalist and blogger; and Massimo Frigo; senior Legal Advisor for International Commission for Jurists (ICJ). The second panel, “Human Rights Defenders,” included Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci; president of the Human Rights Foundation in Turkey; Nurcan Baysal, award-winning Turkish Human Rights Defender and Journalist; and Anne van Wezel, former co-chair EESC EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee.
Following an attempted, and failed, “coup” against the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party in 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused many of his opponents and naysayers, including journalists who were critical of him and his government, of supporting terrorism and prosecuted many of them. Erdogan also suggested that the attempted coup was the work of exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen and his movement, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Turkey has asked for the United States to extradite Gulen. Gulen has been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since 1999. Over 250 people died as a result of the failed coup attempt.
Soon after the coup, Turkey implemented a state of emergency (SOE) which it said: “was put into effect in order to ensure the continuity of effective implementation of the measures for the protection of the rights and freedoms of our citizens, democracy and the rule of law.” However, the AK Party’s critics have maintained that the AK Party used the umbrella of its broader emergency powers and continuously postponed ending that state of emergency, in an attempt to destroy its political opposition.
Many journalists were apprehended under this state of emergency until it was lifted on July 19, 2018. As such, for three straight years, and up until 2019, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Turkey as the worst jailer of journalists in the world. According to Turkish, English, and Arabic-language news site Ahval, when China jailed 48 journalists to Turkey’s 47.
Nurcan Baysal, an award-winning Kurdish Human Rights Defender, Journalist, and contributor to Ahval, said she was even cautious with the words she used on the panel discussion for fear of punishment by the Turkish government. “We are censoring ourselves because of these fears,” Baysal said. “For example, before coming here I asked myself if I should use certain words, should I use the word invasion, or should I use the word war, because today in Turkey even to say war is forbidden,” she said. “Everything that I say has an effect on not only my life but of the lives of my children and family.”
Ahval editor in chief Yavuz Baydar said, “No state or power can decide who is a journalist, it is the domain for professional organizations and should always be separate from power.”
According to the IOHR, “In the previous UPR cycle of Turkey, the Turkish government officially supported 14 recommendations related to strengthening the legal framework on freedom of expression and 5 recommendations specifically related to bringing terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards.
Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch recently said, “The huge number of journalists, politicians, and perceived government critics in prison and on trial flies in the face of the Turkish government’s public statements about the state of human rights in the country “Turkey’s disregard of human rights is a disservice to its citizens, who deserve to live with dignity and freedom.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run pro-government newspaper the Daily Sabah put out propaganda about the Erdogan government writing, “U.N. Human Rights Council highlighted Turkey’s achievements in the fields of judiciary, human rights and humanitarian causes on Tuesday during a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting in Geneva.”
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