On June 27, 2018, police reportedly used violent force against students peacefully protesting on the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) campus. One student was detained.
Approximately 300 students gathered in front of UBA’s rectory to protest alleged transparency issues and fraud that occurred during the Buenos Aires Student Federation election days earlier, on June 23. The students attempted to enter and occupy the UBA rectory, which had been surrounded by police. Police and students clashed, and police reportedly used violent force to repress the students. Police detained sociology student Federico Fernández, who was later charged with “undermining authority.” Mr. Fernández was released after 24 hours.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force by police in an apparent effort to restrict or retaliate against the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — conduct which is protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, to which Argentina is a party. State authorities have a responsibility to not interfere with such rights and to refrain from the use of force intended to restrict them. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such actions undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.