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: July 01, 2018

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):University of Dhaka

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 1, 2018, Muhammad Rashed Khan, a student activist, was reportedly arrested in connection with non-violent expressive activity.

Khan is a prominent student leader involved in Bangladesh’s quota reform movement, a student movement seeking revisions to state policies relating to recruiting for civil service positions. He was reportedly arrested for defaming the country’s prime minister on Facebook on June 27, 2018, as well as spreading misinformation on campus. He has denied both allegations.

Khan was released on bail on August 21, 2018, alongside an additional 20 student protesters.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arrest and prosecution of students in apparent retaliation for the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association. State authorities have a responsibility not to interfere with the right to freedom of expression and association, so long as they are exercised peacefully and responsibly. Detentions and prosecutions aimed at limiting such activity undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.