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: March 22, 2018

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 22, 2018, police reportedly arrested students peacefully protesting the detention of their classmates at Boğaziçi University (BU).

The students reportedly held a campus protest in response to news that five of their classmates had been detained by police earlier that morning for their alleged participation in a March 19 protest (see report). Police reportedly entered the campus and, in an effort to quell the protest, used violent force and arrested at least six of the students. According to video evidence, police officers grabbed and dragged students attempting to avoid arrest. 

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arrest of students to retaliate against and restrict expressive activity — conduct which is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a party. State authorities have a responsibility to protect the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly. In addition to the immediate harm to the victims, such incidents have a chilling effect on such rights and democratic society generally.