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 06, 2020

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | China

Institution(s):Tsinghua University

On July 6, 2020, Chinese authorities reportedly detained Xu Zhangrun, a legal scholar at Tsinghua University, in apparent connection with his public criticism of the government. As many as twenty police officers detained Xu at his home in Changping, on the ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: July 01, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Uludağ University

On July 1, 2020, it was reported that Kayıhan Pala, a professor in the Department of Public Health at the School of Medicine in Uludağ University, had become the subject of a university disciplinary investigation after he publicly shared his ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position | Other

Date of Incident: June 30, 2020

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Istanbul Sehir University

On June 30, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree effectively closing Istanbul Sehir University, an institution established by former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The decision to close the university followed the apparent deterioration of the relationship ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: June 29, 2020

Region & Country:Americas | Mexico

Institution(s):University of Valladolid de Xalapa

On June 29, 2020, two unidentified individuals reportedly entered the University of Valladolid de Xalapa and fatally shot the university rector, Guadalupe Martínez. The details surrounding Martínez’s death remain unclear as of this report. According to a statement issued by the ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: June 25, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

Institution(s):University of Mohaghegh Ardabili

On June 25, 2020, it was reported that the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili (UMA) suspended fifteen students for holding a vigil for the victims of a Ukrainian airliner crash in January 2020. On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: June 24, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

Institution(s):Unaffiliated

On June 24, 2020, authorities summoned Sedigheh Vasmaghi, a prominent scholar and lawyer, to the Revolutionary Court in apparent retaliation for signing a petition concerning the use of violent force during protests in November 2019. Vasmaghi is a women’s rights activist, ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 24, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):Various Institutions

On June 24, 2020, police reportedly beat and arrested dozens of students in the Balochistan province during a nonviolent protest demanding internet access needed for online classes.  Balochistan, the westernmost province of Pakistan, is majority ethnically Baloch and Pashtun. In recent ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

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 22, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

Institution(s):Delhi University

On June 22, 2020, police briefly detained eight University of Delhi students and faculty members participating in a peaceful campus protest. At least ten students and faculty members protested outside the vice-chancellor’s office, denouncing a decision by the university to hold ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 20, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):Forman Christian College

On June 20, 2020, it was reported that Forman Christian College (FCC) changed Ammar Ali Jan’s position from Assistant Professor to visiting faculty, in apparent retaliation for his nonviolent activism. Shortly afterward, Jan resigned from FCC. On December 1, 2019, a ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position