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 09, 2019

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Forman Christian College

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 9, 2019, police reportedly arrested Forman Christian College assistant professor and human rights activist Ammar Ali Jan, in apparent retaliation for his participation in a protest.

The protest was in response to the death of Dr. Arman Loni, a Pashtun leader and professor, who was killed by police force during a protest on February 2.

A first information report (FIR) against Dr. Jan alleges he led a group of over one hundred protesters that blocked roads and chanted slogans critical of state institutions and intelligence agencies.

In the early morning hours of February 9, police raided Dr. Jan’s house and later arrested him. After several hours in custody, police released him on bail. It is unclear whether Dr. Jan faces charges, as of this report.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arrest of a scholar in apparent retaliation for the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — conduct that 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 Pakistan is a party. State authorities must refrain from restricting or otherwise interfering in the nonviolent exercise of such rights. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and undermine democratic society generally.