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: May 21, 2021

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Hinthada Technological University

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Myanmar (Burma)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On May 21, 2021, soldiers and police arrested Nilar Myint, an assistant lecturer at Hinthada Technological University, as part of its crackdown on anti-coup protests.

Students, professionals, and members of civil society organized protests across Myanmar in response to a military coup on February 1, 2021. University students and faculty have been regular fixtures in the protests.

Nilar Myint was among faculty at many universities throughout the country who were suspended for participating in protests and acts of civil disobedience. One source reported more than 70 faculty at Hinthada having been suspended.

Few details regarding the arrest of Nilar Myint are available. It was reported that authorities in four vehicles arrested her and brought her to a police station.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arrest of a scholar for their nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association — 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. Government authorities and state security forces have a responsibility to refrain from restricting or retaliating against nonviolent exercise of such rights. In addition to the harm to the immediate individual, arrests intended to restrict student expression undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

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