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15 unions worldwide have now signed an international agreement on defending education and employment standards in the context of global marketisation. Together, these unions represent more than half a million tertiary education workers around the world.

The deepening global recession and the cutting back of public provision will only give greater encouragement to a burgeoning private sector, making the international agreement only more relevant and important.

We are now turning this community of over 500,000 academics into something tangible.

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‘The truth triumphs’: Dr Beltran finally released

UCU is delighted to announce that Dr Miguel Angel Beltran, the university professor imprisoned in Colombia since May 2009 was finally released this Tuesday 7th June, having been declared innocent of the spurious charges of ‘rebellion’ and ‘criminal conspiracy for terrorist purposes’.

Dr Beltran has endured two years in prison without conviction simply for publishing articles and research critical of the Colombian government.

Alongside our sister education unions around the world, UCU has fought hard to demand his release and to defend academic freedom. This fantastic news is a vindication of our efforts and a significant step forward in the struggle for human rights in Colombia.

Dr Beltran was met at the gates of La Picota prison in Bogota on Tuesday by around 200 supporters, including family, academic colleagues and former students. On hearing the verdict Dr Beltran said ‘The truth triumphed, critical thought is not terrorism. They were two difficult years’.

Thank you to every union and every academic, from over 20 countries worldwide, who took part in the campaign. Read more here:  http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=2408 and here: http://justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/984/political-prisoner-professor-beltran-finally-absolved-of-all-charges

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