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 28, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Loss of Position

Institution(s):Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Region & Country:Western Asia | Israel

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 28, 2022, off-duty police studying at Hebrew University of Jerusalem detained two Palestinian students listening to or singing Arabic music on campus.

The two students were reportedly singing along to music in Arabic when they were approached by off-duty police officers who summoned additional police officers. They reportedly claimed the students were singing “Jihadi music,” expelled them from campus and arrested them. The Palestinian students were reportedly interrogated for several hours and banned from campus for six days.

While the two students appealed the ban, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ultimately upheld the ban.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by the arbitrary arrest of students and a temporary ban on their access to campus. State and university authorities have a responsibility to refrain from restricting students’ nonviolent expressive activity. Efforts to restrict students’ nonviolent campus expression undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.