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: July 15, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):University of California Davis

On January 30, 2019, Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant for Baki Tezcan, a professor at the University of California Davis, for his endorsement of a petition criticizing state and military actions in predominantly Kurdish areas of southeast Turkey.

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: July 11, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Middle East Technical University

On July 11, 2019, the İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court convicted and sentenced Sibel Bekiroğlu, a research assistant at the Middle East Technical University, to fifteen months imprisonment on a charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” The charge is in apparent retaliation for the Bekiroğlu’s endorsement of a petition criticizing state and military actions in predominantly Kurdish areas of southeast Turkey.

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: July 01, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Işık University | İstanbul Kültür University | İstanbul Okan University

On July 1, 2019, the İstanbul 32nd Heavy Penal Court sentenced a research assistant from İstanbul Kültür University, and two lecturers from İstanbul Okan University and Işık University to fifteen months imprisonment on a charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 30, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Middle East Technical University

On June 30, 2019, authorities arrested four students from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, apparently to prevent them from engaging in non-violent expressive activity at the university’s graduation ceremony. Authorities released the students later that night.

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 27, 2019

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Sudan

Institution(s):East Nile University College

On June 27, 2019, paramilitary forces reportedly beat, fired tear gas at, and detained dozens of students from East Nile University College during a peaceful protest. Protests had been ongoing throughout Sudan since December 19, 2018, when demonstrators — frequently led ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 24, 2019

Region & Country:Americas | Honduras

Institution(s):National Autonomous University of Honduras

On June 24, 2019, authorities fired live ammunition at students at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) during a campus protest, injuring at least five. Hundreds of UNAH students had gathered on campus to demand the resignation of President Juan ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Date of Incident: June 13, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University | Istanbul Bilgi University

On June 13, 2019, the İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court convicted and sentenced a Boğaziçi University PhD candidate and an İstanbul Bilgi University research assistant to 15 months imprisonment and a Boğaziçi University scholar to two years and six months ...

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 12, 2019

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | China

Institution(s):Hotan Teachers College

On June 12, 2019, it was reported that Nurmuhammad Tohti, a professor at Hotan Teachers College and renowned Uyghur writer, died following his detention at a so-called “re-education camp” in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 12, 2019

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Istanbul Bilgi University

On June 12, 2019, the Istanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court convicted and sentenced Sezai Ozan Zeybek, a lecturer at Istanbul Bilgi University, to one year and three months imprisonment for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

Attack Types: Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 09, 2019

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Sudan

Institution(s):University of Khartoum

On June 9, 2019, paramilitary forces reportedly raided the University of Khartoum (UofK), killing four protesters and destroying campus property. Protests had been ongoing throughout Sudan since December 19, 2018, when demonstrators -- frequently led by scholars, students, and professional groups ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other