On January 20, 2022, police fired tear gas and arrested students from the Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry (UGANC) during a protest demanding improved conditions, including student transportation services.
The students began their protest on campus and then moved onto a main road in Conakry. Sources indicate that the students were peaceful, though some suggest that they blocked traffic. Police deployed to the scene used tear gas in an effort to disperse the protesters and arrested several students, including the head of a student association. Authorities released the students later that day.
Scholars at Risk is concerned by the use of force against student and arrests of the same in response to nonviolent protest activity. While state security forces have a responsibility to maintain order and safety, they must ensure their actions are proportionate and do not seek to restrict or retaliate against nonviolent, responsible expressive activity. The use of force and arrests in response to nonviolent student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).