Today the Harvard Crimson, the student daily newspaper of Harvard University, published an article on General Moeen U Ahmed’s visit to Harvard last week:
The chief of the Bangladeshi military, who took part in a two-day session at the Kennedy School of Government last week, has come under fire from scholars who claim that his armed forces have been responsible for a crackdown on academic freedom at the nation’s universities.
Gen. Moeen U Ahmed, who also participated in a Kennedy School executive education course in 2002, is being criticized for crackdowns at Bangladesh’s Rajshahi University and its flagship institution, the University of Dhaka.
The crackdowns have included the arrests of at least four academics at Dhaka and eight at Rajshahi, with allegations that they have been tortured, according to The Daily Star, the largest English-language newspaper in Bangladesh.
Emran Qureshi, a fellow at the Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program, criticized the Kennedy School for closing Moeen’s visit to the public and the press.
“He should be allowed to speak, but it should have been public so that critics of their policy could have aired their thoughts,” Qureshi said in a phone interview yesterday. “It is incredibly ironic that at the very moment he speaks at Harvard University, he is presiding over an unprecedented crackdown on Bangladeshi academic institutions. It boggles the mind.”