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 15, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Sylhet Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 15, 2022, members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the country’s ruling party, reportedly attacked female students holding a protest on the Sylhet Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) campus.

On January 13, student protesters began demanding the removal of a residence hall provost, Assistant Professor Zafrin Ahmed Liza, for allegedly being dismissive of their concerns over the behavior of the hall’s security guards.

During their protest on the evening of January 15, as many as 40 alleged BCL members attacked them in an apparent effort to quash their demonstration. Several students were reportedly injured.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent attack on student protesters. State and higher education officials should work to prevent attacks on student expression, including by investigating such incidents and holding perpetrators responsible. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, attacks on student expression undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.