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: March 04, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment


Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 4, 2022, Taliban forces detained university professor and political analyst Sayed Baqir Mohsini.

Mohsini and a relative were on their way to participate in a television program when they went missing. Family reported that Mohsini’s phones were turned off when they attempted to contact him.

Several days before his disappearance, Mohsini posted to social media that he had appeared in an interview with a Taliban official. Mohsini has been publicly critical of the Taliban in the past.

On March 6, family reported that Mohsini had been released.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by the disappearance and arbitrary detention of a scholar in apparent retaliation for their nonviolent exercise of the right to freedom of expression — 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 Afghanistan is a party. State authorities, including de facto state authorities, have an obligation to refrain from restricting or retaliating against such conduct. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, arbitrary detentions intended to restrict or retaliate against academic expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.