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:Western Asia | Iraq

Institution(s):Unaffiliated

On July 6, 2020, unidentified gunmen assassinated Dr. Hisham al-Hashemi, a prominent historian, journalist, and security analyst. A group of three gunmen riding on motorcycles reportedly fired multiple times at Hashemi outside his home in Baghdad. Hashemi (also written as “Hashimi”) ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

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: 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 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 14, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

Institution(s):Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur

On June 14 2020, Bangladeshi authorities arrested Sirajum Munira, a lecturer in the Bangla department of Begum Rokeya University, for nonviolent social media comments. In a post published to her Facebook account on June 13, Munira allegedly insulted Mohammad Nasim, a ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Date of Incident: June 12, 2020

Region & Country:Americas | Peru

Institution(s):National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco

On June 12, 2020, police reportedly arrested at least two students during a peaceful protest at the National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco (UNSAAC). A group of roughly fifty students were protesting on the UNSAAC campus, demanding that the ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 10, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):University of Sindh

Starting on June 10, 2020, University of Sindh chemistry professor and prominent women’s rights activist Arfana Mallah became the target of a campaign of online harassment, including death threats and demands that she be arrested and charged with blasphemy. The online ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: June 10, 2020

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

Institution(s):Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur

On June 10, Pakistani authorities arrested Shah Abdul Latif University professor Sajid Soomro on a charge of blasphemy. Soomro is a professor the Sindhi language department at SALU as well as a writer known for his works on the Sindhi and ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution