SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

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Date of Incident: April 05, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Arel University | Boğaziçi University | Marmara University | Middle East Technical University

On April 5, 2019, Turkey’s 25th, 27th and 32nd Heavy Penal Courts reportedly convicted and sentenced five academic personnel to fifteen months imprisonment on charges of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” The charges are in connection to their endorsement of ...

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: April 04, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Ankara University

On April 4, 2019, the Istanbul 28th Heavy Penal Court sentenced Can Irmak Özinanır, a former research assistant Ankara University, to one year, ten months, and fifteen days in prison on a charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” The charge is in apparent retaliation for the scholar’s endorsement of a petition criticizing state and military actions in predominantly Kurdish areas of southeast Turkey.

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: April 03, 2019

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Sudan

Institution(s):University of Dongola

On April 3, 2019, state authorities reportedly detained five University of Dongola students in apparent retaliation for their participation in a strike.

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: April 02, 2019

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Zambia

Institution(s):Copperbelt University

On April 2, 2019, police violently clashed with Copperbelt University (CBU) students during a campus protest after several students were barred from taking exams. A few days later, the Higher Education Minister of Zambia announced the indefinite closure of CBU. On ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Date of Incident: April 01, 2019

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | China

Institution(s):Unknown

On April 1, 2019, Chinese authorities blocked human rights lawyer Chen Jiangang from leaving the country to attend an academic fellowship program in the United States.

Attack Types: Travel Restrictions

Date of Incident: March 28, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Saudi Arabia

Institution(s):King Saud University

On March 28, 2019, authorities reportedly arrested King Saud University law professor Anas al-Mazrouee, shortly after he denounced the detention of women’s rights and human rights activists in the country. Al-Mazrouee spoke at the International Book Exhibition in Riyadh about Saudi ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: March 27, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

On March 27, 2019, Turkey’s 27th Heavy Penal Court convicted and sentenced Boğaziçi University professors Feyza Akınerdem and Neş’e Bilgin to fifteen months in prison and Ali Kerem Saysel to two years and six months imprisonment on charges of “propagandizing ...

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: March 25, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Abant İzzet Baysal University | Boğaziçi University | Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts | Yalova University

On March 25, 2019, the 27th Heavy Penal Court sentenced four academics to one year and three months imprisonment, and one academic to two years and six months imprisonment, all on charges of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” The charges ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Date of Incident: March 25, 2019

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | China

Institution(s):Tsinghua University

On March 25, 2019, Tsinghua University (THU) suspended constitutional law professor Xu Zhangrun and placed him under investigation after he published a series of essays critical of China’s Communist party leadership. In July 2018, Xu published an essay that warned of ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: March 24, 2019

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Egypt

Institution(s):Al-Azhar University

On March 24, 2019, authorities reportedly surrounded and prevented Al-Azhar University students from leaving campus in an apparent effort to restrict a peaceful protest over the university’s response to the reported rape of a classmate. On March 18, a student was ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment