Academician On Hunger Strike Against Censorship of His PhD Thesis focussing on Legal Anarchism and Corruption
Sirus Kashefi, a PhD student at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, has gone on an indefinite hunger strike, from 12th March 2015, to protest against the censorship of his second PhD thesis (he attained his first PhD of Law from Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, 2001-2005), titled “Legal Anarchism: Does Existence Need to Be Regulated by the State?”. His PhD supervisor, Allan C. Hutchinson, Distinguished Research Professor, from the same institution, vetoed his thesis as ‘unexaminable’ at its current state, on December 8, 2014, citing reasons such as “the style and tone of the piece is not suitable for a doctoral thesis – at times, it reads as an outright rant”, and also as “it contains personal attacks on individuals and berates Osgoode in a vicious way.” This is a clear infringement on the basic human right to freedom of speech, and of a thesis spanning 668 pages long, with approximately 450,000 words in the context and 200,000 words in the footnotes, the part criticizing Osgoode Hall Law School was relatively minute. Not only the veto goes against the morals of “democracy, diversity, plurality, and critical thinking” preached by the school itself, but does a disservice against a person who has spent six years writing it, under impoverished conditions, with a meagre allowance of $15,000 per year, along with his part-time Teaching Assistantship.
Along with the veto, Sirus also received an email from Dayna Nadine Scott, Graduate Program Director, Osgoode Hall Law School, on December 18, 2014, asking him to remove “extraneous material that is not central to your argument or your analysis, including the several pages at the beginning of the dissertation that voice personal complaints or comments comment about Osgoode as an institution, our Dean, and your supervisor etc.” The Director also asked him to reduce the length of his thesis from more than 600 pages to less than 400 pages, in order to be considered for evaluation. These again violates his right to free speech, as well as effectively getting him to omit several of his observations, which is practically censorship.
Sirus replied to both mails, defending his thesis and stating why he is discriminated against. He appealed for the examination of the thesis in question by an independent committee, as it was clear that his thesis was against the interests of Osgoode and its professors, who he criticized. Both were to no avail, as he didn’t get any response. He then went on the hunger strike, after repeated attempts at correspondence with York University and its satellites. The mass media is silent on this, and he is still fasting against institutional censorship and fascism.
All correspondences with individuals mentioned have been made available to the public domain.
The exchange between Allan C. Hutchinson and Sirus can be found at https://www.academia.edu/9731585/In_Response_to_Professor_Allan_C._Hutchinson_s_Veto_of_My_PhD_Thesis_Legal_Anarchism_Does_Existence_Need_to_Be_Regulated_by_the_State_
The exchange between Dayna Nadine Scott and Sirus can be found at https://www.academia.edu/10079037/When_A_Director_of_Osgoode_Hall_Law_School_Becomes_the_Protector_of_A_Sacred_Institution
The thesis in question can be found at https://www.academia.edu/10182798/_Legal_Anarchism_Does_Existence_Need_to_Be_Regulated_by_the_State_A_Censored_PhD_Thesis_by_Osgoode_Hall_Law_School
His academia.edu page lists his compositions, at https://independent.academia.edu/NoManNoLandNowhere
A change.org petition is up regarding his cause, at https://www.change.org/p/osgooe-hall-law-school-s-fascism-allow-me-to-defend-my-second-phd-thesis
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