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London School of Economics Cancels Middle East Event

The London School of Economics and Political Science abruptly called off a conference in the United Arab Emirates this weekend, after immigration authorities reportedly detained one of the university’s scholars at the Dubai airport and denied him entry into the country.

In a statement to the BBC, the institution said it had decided on the cancellation “in response to restrictions imposed on the intellectual content of the event that threatened academic freedom.” The subject of the conference was the Arab Spring and how that movement has affected the Middle East.

The London School, which was to have held the conference together with the American University of Sharjah, has received several million dollars from the Emirates Foundation, which is financed by the country’s government. The institution said the foundation was not involved in placing restrictions on the event, according to the BBC.

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