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: February 20, 2014

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Baku State University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Azerbaijan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 20, 2014, up to a dozen students were detained during non-violent protests at Baku State University.  The students were not charged with any crimes, and were released after a few hours. 
The students’ protest, which was organized via social media, was focused on excessive course fees, corruption, maladministration and oppressive governance at the university. Protest events took place over the course of 3 days, and included meetings between students and university authorities. There are no confirmed reports as to the circumstances or the exact number of detentions.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the detention of students in retaliation for, or to prevent, their involvement in the non-violent exercise of protected human rights, including freedom of expression and association. Arbitrary detention of students in response to such protests exerts a chilling effect on academic freedom and undermines university autonomy.