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: September 13, 2021

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Sebelas Maret University

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Indonesia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 13, 2021, police detained 10 students who peacefully protested a visit by Indonesia’s president to the Sebelas Maret University (UNS) campus.

Sources indicate that the students displayed posters that criticized the human rights situation under current administration. The president was visiting the campus for a higher education forum. Police released the students later in the afternoon.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by the detention of students for peacefully exercising their 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, to which Indonesia is a party. State authorities are obligated to refrain from restricting or retaliating against nonviolent, responsible expressive activity. Detentions of student in connection with nonviolent, on-campus protests 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).