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: June 23, 2020

Region & Country:Europe | United Kingdom

Institution(s):University of Cambridge

On June 23, 2020, University of Cambridge professor Priyamvada Gopal became the target of death threats and harassment over social media following a Twitter post. On June 23, in response to recent global protests in support of racial equality, Gopal, a ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: June 14, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

Institution(s):Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur

On June 14 2020, Bangladeshi authorities arrested Sirajum Munira, a lecturer in the Bangla department of Begum Rokeya University, for nonviolent social media comments. In a post published to her Facebook account on June 13, Munira allegedly insulted Mohammad Nasim, a ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 12, 2020

Region & Country:Americas | Peru

Institution(s):National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco

On June 12, 2020, police reportedly arrested at least two students during a peaceful protest at the National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco (UNSAAC). A group of roughly fifty students were protesting on the UNSAAC campus, demanding that the ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 10, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):University of Sindh

Starting on June 10, 2020, University of Sindh chemistry professor and prominent women’s rights activist Arfana Mallah became the target of a campaign of online harassment, including death threats and demands that she be arrested and charged with blasphemy. The online ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: June 10, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur

On June 10, Pakistani authorities arrested Shah Abdul Latif University professor Sajid Soomro on a charge of blasphemy. Soomro is a professor the Sindhi language department at SALU as well as a writer known for his works on the Sindhi and ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 04, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Palestine (OPT)

Institution(s):Birzeit University

On June 4, 2020, the Israeli authorities reportedly detained Yahya Sadiq al-Qarout, a Birzeit University student and the secretary of the planning committee for the university’s student council. Few details are available regarding the detention of al-Qarout, a third-year computer science ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: May 19, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

Institution(s):Hodeidah University

On May 19, 2020, it was reported that Houthi forces detained Hodeidah University lecturer Wadih Al-Sharjabi. Several days prior to being detained, Al-Sharjabi, a communications lecturer, had demanded over Facebook that the militia release several university students who were arrested for ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: May 18, 2020

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Uganda

Institution(s):Unaffiliated

On May 18, 2020, police reportedly arrested scholar-activist Stella Nyanzi during a protest over the government’s handling of the global coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19. Nyanzi is a prominent anthropologist and activist known for her advocacy on behalf of women and ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: May 15, 2020

Region & Country:Americas | United States of America

Institution(s):Northwestern University

On May 15, 2020, unidentified individuals reportedly disrupted a virtual symposium hosted by the Northwestern Women's Center at Northwestern University by displaying images of child sexual abuse.  Starting in early March 2020, higher education institutions across the US suspended in-person classes ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: May 12, 2020

Region & Country:Americas | United States of America

Institution(s):California Polytechnic State University

On May 12, 2020, a group of unidentified individuals interrupted a virtual meeting for the Chinese Students’ Association (CSA) at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with racist and homophobic images and slurs. Starting in early March 2020, higher education institutions ...

Attack Types: Other