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: January 09, 2021

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Kharazmi University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 9, 2021, state security forces detained two Kurdish graduate students from Kharazmi University.

Rights groups and news outlets reported that security forces detained the students — Farzad Samani and Sohaib Badrouj — during a raid on a student dormitory in the city of Karaj. According to a report by the US-based organization, Human Rights Activists in Iran, as many as twenty officers carried out the operation. The students were reportedly taken to an unknown location. Reports indicate that nine Kurdish activists were also detained around the same time security forces took into custody Samani and Badroj.

As of March 15, 2021, Samani and Badroj’s location and the authorities’ basis for their detention have not been publicly reported.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary detention of students on campus. Arbitrary arrests and imprisonments without particularized and reasonable suspicion may violate recognized international human rights standards. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.