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 28, 2014

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):Multiple Institutions

Region & Country:Americas | Venezuela

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In response to widespread student demonstrations occurring in and around Caracas, between February 12 and 28, 2014, Venezuelan authorities reportedly detained some 331 protesters.  According to reports, a large number of the detainees were psychologically and physically abused. 
Scholars at Risk is concerned about arbitrary imprisonment and prosecution of students, as well as abuses during such detention. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and undermine democratic society generally. State authorities have a responsibility to refrain from arbitrary arrests and prosecution of students and others for exercising their internationally recognized right to free association and expression, and to comply with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and regarding the treatment of detained individuals.