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.

Regions/Countries

Attack Types

Institutions

Date Range

Results

Date of Incident: February 01, 2021

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

Institution(s):University of Abuja

On February 1, 2021, military and/or police personnel used teargas to disperse peaceful student protesters as they demonstrated on the campus of the University of Abuja. Starting at 9:00 am, the students of the University of Abuja staged a peaceful protest ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: January 30, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

On January 30, 2021, five students were arrested in connection with an art exhibition on the campus of Bogaziči University. The exhibition included a poster displaying the Kaaba, a sacred Muslim shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, alongside LGBTQ+ pride flags, ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: January 30, 2021

Region & Country:Europe | Russia

Institution(s):Astrakhan State University

On January 30, 2021, Astrakhan State University (ASU) expelled three students for participating in a January 23 protest in support of imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny.  Protests over Navalny’s arrest swept Russia in what the New York Times called the “biggest ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: January 26, 2021

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):University of Central Punjab

On January 26, 2021, security guards clashed violently with students protesting outside the University of Central Punjab, in Lahore. Hundreds of students staged a sit-in outside the university gates to protest the university’s decision to hold exams in-person after a semester ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: January 25, 2021

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | Hong Kong 

Institution(s):Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

On January 25, 2021, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) suspended two students for organizing a memorial event commemorating the life of a student who died after falling from a parking garage near the site of a student ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: January 14, 2021

Region & Country:Europe | Greece

Institution(s):Various

On January 14, 2021, police used tear gas against students protesting a government proposal to increase police presence on university campuses. In 2019, when the current government came into power, it abolished a 1982 law preventing police entry to university campuses. ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

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 06, 2021

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):Unknown

On January 6, 2021, police used batons and water cannons against medical school students and recent graduates during a protest. The students and graduates protested outside the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) demanding that it reverse course in its decision to not ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: January 05, 2021

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Myanmar (Burma)

Institution(s):Yadanabon University

On January 5, 2021, police arrested Yadanabon University student Phone Myint Kyaw in connection with his student activism. Phone Myint Kyaw, a member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), was arrested in Aung May That San township. Police ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

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