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: January 11, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Birzeit University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Palestine (OPT)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 11, 2022, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Birzeit University (BZU) students participating in a protest over the detention of five of their peers the prior day. 

On January 10, IDF soldiers stormed the BZU campus, fired live ammunition at students, and arrested five students (see report). The following day, on January 11, students gathered off campus in the city of Ramallah to protest the raid of their campus and the detention of their peers. IDF soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the students. Five students sustained injuries from rubber bullets and dozens more from the tear gas. 

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of violence against students apparently in retaliation for the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and 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. State authorities have an obligation to refrain from retaliating against the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. Such actions undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.