Professor Shapiro is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he is an Associate Professor. On November 1st, 2010, Professor Shapiro traveled to India with his wife, Professor Angana Chatterji. Professor Chatterji, a frequent visitor to the region, was granted entry to India, although she had been stopped several times before, while her husband, Professor Shapiro, was prevented from entering the country. Reports indicate that no legal basis was given for the decision to deny his entry and although Professor Shapiro was in possession of a valid passport and visa, he was forced to return to the US on the next plane and was not reimbursed for his fare.
Since 2006, Shapiro has regularly traveled to Kashmir, met with human rights defenders, and has written on Kashmir in several publications. It appears that Shapiro’s right to travel might have been restricted in an attempt to intimidate his wife, Professor Chatterji, and to discourage her from continuing her work as co-convener of the International People’s Tribunal for Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir.
Free exchange of ideas is one of the most basic human rights and values of all academic communities. Freedom of travel is one of the most important avenues for furthering such exchange. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified, protects freedom of expression, right to travel and scientific exchange.
CCS wrote to Indian Prime Minister Monmohan Singh, requesting that Indian authorities investigate the situation and explain publicly the circumstances of any restrictions on Professor Shapiro’s travel or, if there are no official restrictions, to expedite approval of any future travel requests and reimburse his travel costs.