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 07, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances


Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 7, 2021, police attacked students with batons during a protest over university policies.

Students from various universities gathered at an intersection in Dhaka under the name of “General Students of Polytechnic” to raise a four-point charter of demands, including a 50% waiver of tuition fees during COVID-19 and an increase in student enrollment at technical universities. Police reportedly beat students with batons  and arrested five students to break up the protest.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force in response to a student protest — conduct that is expressly protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bangladesh is a party. State authorities must refrain from the use of force against nonviolent student protesters. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, violence in response to peaceful student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).পলিটেকনিক-শিক্ষার্থীদের-শাহবাগে-বিক্ষোভ-আটক-৫পলিটেকনিক-শিক্ষার্থীদের-আন্দোলনে-পুলিশের-বাধা