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: June 26, 2018

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Chulalongkorn University

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Thailand

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 26, 2018, officials reportedly pressured Chulalongkorn University students to cancel an on-campus event due to expected criticism of Junta General Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

The students had planned to translate a Time Magazine profile of General Chan-Ocha into Thai, after his deputy claimed he had not read the article because he does not speak English. Students reported that they were approached by a university administrator, who was accompanied by police, requesting that they cancel the event.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about pressures by law enforcement and university administrators, aimed at preventing student activists from engaging in the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association — conduct that is expressly protected under international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a party. State and university authorities have a responsibility not to interfere with expressive activity, so long as that activity is undertaken peacefully and responsibly. Pressures intended to limit the exercise of such rights harm academic freedom and democratic society generally.