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.

Date of Incident: April 04, 2013

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Northwest University of Nationalities

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | China

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Students at the Northwest University of Nationalities were interrogated and allegedly threatened with “serious consequences” if they did not cooperate with authorities investigating classroom commemorations of the March 14, 2008 protests by Tibetan Buddhist monks in Lhasa.
Students allegedly commemorated the fifth anniversary of the protests by putting up prayer lamps, writing “3/14” on their classroom boards, and discussing the anniversary in class. According to reports, all students who took part in the commemoration were subsequently interrogated and pressed to divulge the names of individuals who organized the observance.
The March 14, 2008 anniversary commemorates mass protests against Chinese rule, which began in the capital, Lhasa, and subsequently spread across the Tibet Autonomous Region. 
Scholars at Risk is concerned about unreasonable restrictions on students’ right to engage peacefully in expressive activity in classrooms and campuses.  Harassment and intimidation aimed at limiting such expressive activity can undermine academic freedom and related higher education values including institutional autonomy and social responsibility.
Sources: [Chinese]