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: March 07, 2021

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Monywa University

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Myanmar (Burma)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 7, 2021, police and soldiers raided Monywa University in an apparent effort to deter students and faculty from protesting a military coup. 

Protests spread across Myanmar following a military coup on February 1, 2021. University students and faculty have been regular fixtures at these protests. Military and police have responded to the protests with violence, detentions of protesters, and raids of university campuses. On March 7, police and military troops forced their entry into universities, hospitals and other public buildings across Myanmar in a coordinated effort.

That day, police and soldiers stormed the campus of Monywa University. One source also reported that the Monywa University of Economics was also raided by police and soldiers. A professor at Monywa University told VOA that other university staff and locals protested the military presence.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force and entry of troops onto a university campus in an apparent effort to restrict the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — 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. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, the use of force and entry of troops onto campus, especially when intended to restrict expressive activity, undermines academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).