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: November 09, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

Institution(s):Tabesh University

On November 9, 2020, an explosive was detonated near the entrance gate of Tabesh University, killing one student and injuring several others. According to reports, the main target of the attack was a law student in the university’s political science faculty ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: November 02, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

Institution(s):Kabul University

On November 2, 2020, at least three gunmen carried out a violent attack on Kabul University, leaving at least 19 dead and 22 wounded. After storming the campus just before 11:00 AM, the gunmen detonated explosive devices (reports suggest they threw ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: October 26, 2020

Region & Country:Europe | Belarus

Institution(s):Belarusian National Technical University | Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics

On October 26, 2020, police reportedly arrested dozens of students during protests at several universities, calling for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko. The official results of the August 9 election had President Lukashenko, who first took office in 1994, winning ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: October 24, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

Institution(s):Kawsar-e Danish Educational Center

On October 24, 2020, a suicide bomber carried out an attack on the Kawsar-e Danish Educational Center in Kabul, leaving at least 24 dead and 57 injured. The assailant detonated a suicide vest when guards stationed outside the educational center spotted ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: October 20, 2020

Region & Country:Europe | Belarus

Institution(s):Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts | Brest State Technical University | Minsk State Linguistic University

On October 20, 2020, President Alexander Lukashenko replaced rectors at Minsk State Linguistic University (MSLU), Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts (BSUKI), and Brest State Technical University (BrSTU), apparently in response to large numbers of students from those same ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: October 17, 2020

Region & Country:Europe | Belarus

Institution(s):Minsk State Linguistic University

On October 17, 2020, police reportedly arrested at least ten people during a peaceful student protest over contested results in Belarus’s 2020 presidential election. The official results of the August 9 election had President Lukashenko, who first took office in 1994, ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: October 16, 2020

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Thailand

Institution(s):Various

On October 16, 2020, police deployed water cannons against students and civilians during a series of nationwide student protests. Starting on July 18, 2020, students and other young people organized nationwide protests throughout Thailand, demanding democratic reforms including the resignation of ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: October 15, 2020

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Thailand

Institution(s):Thammasat University

On October 15, 2020, police reportedly arrested Thammasat University student leaders Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and Nathchanon Pairoj in apparent retaliation for her participation in a nationwide student protest movement. Starting on July 18, 2020, students and other young people organized nationwide ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Date of Incident: September 14, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

Institution(s):Nangarhar University

On September 14, 2020, unidentified individuals shot and killed Nangarhar University professor Adam Khan Mulatar. Mulutar, a professor in the faculty of Pashto literature, was in the Khogryani district of Nangarhar province, on his way to the university, at the time ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: September 14, 2020

Region & Country:Americas | United States of America

Institution(s):University of Mississippi

On September 14, 2020, the Mississippi State Auditor sent a letter to the University of Mississippi calling for the dismissal of a professor for his participation in a nationwide “scholar strike” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.  James Thomas, ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position | Other