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 04, 2021

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):University of Medicine, Mandalay

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Myanmar (Burma)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 4, 2021, police detained a student and two others protesting outside the gates of the University of Medicine, in Mandalay.

Protests broke out in Myanmar following a military coup on February 1 and the arrests of civilian government leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Students and other members of university communities have been a driving force behind many of the protests.

At the University of Medicine, Mandalay, as many as twenty students and activists peacefully protested outside the university’s gates, holding signs and chanting slogans against the coup. The protest reportedly lasted twenty minutes before police forced protesters to disperse and detained several participants, including one university student and two youth activists.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arrest of a student and two others during a peaceful campus protest — conduct that is expressly protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. State authorities have an obligation to refrain from restricting or retaliating against such conduct, so long as it is peaceful and responsible. In addition to the harm to the immediate individuals, arrests intended to restrict campus protests undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.