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: January 07, 2021

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

Institution(s):Visva Bharati University

On January 7, 2021, Visva-Bharati University (VBU) suspended professor Sudipta Bhattacharyya, in apparent retaliation for expression critical of the university administration. Bhattacharyya is a professor of economics who has taught at VBU since 2001. He is also the president of the ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: January 05, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

On January 5 and 6, 2021, police reportedly detained 31 seventeen students in apparent retaliation for their participation in a protest at Boğaziçi University. On January 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed new rectors to five universities. These included appointing Melih ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: January 04, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

On January 4, 2021, police reportedly attacked students during a protest at the Boğaziçi University (BU) over the appointment of a new rector. On January 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed new rectors to five universities. These include appointing Melih Bulu, ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 29, 2020

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Morocco

Institution(s):University of Mohammed V-Rabat

On December 29, 2020, authorities reportedly detained Maati Monjib, a Moroccan professor of history, journalist and the head of the Ibn Rushd Institute for Investigative Journalism, which provides training to Moroccan journalists. The arrest was one of a string of ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: December 29, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Lebanon

Institution(s):American University of Beirut

On December 29, 2020, police clashed with student protesters at the American University of Beirut (AUB), during a demonstration over the price of tuition. In the weeks leading up to the protest, authorities at AUB and the Lebanese American University, both ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 19, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Lebanon

Institution(s):American University of Beirut

On December 19, 2020, security guards reportedly clashed with student protesters at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Dubbed “Student Rage Day,” the protests began in the city of Hamra in response to decisions by authorities at the AUB and Lebanese ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 16, 2020

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

Institution(s):Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education

On December 16, 2020, authorities reportedly fired tear gas at students protesting the sudden closure of Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education in Nigeria.  On December 15, Nigeria’s Commissioner for Higher Education announced the closure of all higher education institutions in the ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 16, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Iraq

Institution(s):Al-Manara University College

On December 16, 2020, Dr. Ahmed al-Sharifi, a professor at Al-Manara University College in the Iraqi city of Amara, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen. The gunmen fled the scene, and a motive for the killing was not publicly reported. ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 15, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

Institution(s):Jamia Millia Islamia

On December 15, 2020, police arrested students and others during a nonviolent candlelight vigil that marked the first anniversary of a protest at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) against a controversial law known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: December 11, 2020

Region & Country:Europe | United Kingdom

Institution(s):University of Edinburgh

On December 11, 2020, a group of unidentified individuals reportedly beat a student at the University of Edinburgh, in an apparently racially motivated attack. The student was eating dinner outside of the university library, where he works, when a group of ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances