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: April 07, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Various Institutions

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Indonesia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 7, 2022, police used force in their effort to quell a nonviolent student protest in Jambi, injuring several students.

Members of various student organizations convened for a protest a number of issues, notably oil prices and rumors of President Joko Widodo seeking a third term in office. Clashes between police and protesters broke out when students arrived at the local airport in an attempt to meet and convey their concerns to the president, who was in Jambi on business. According to Jambi Kita and Tribun News, police used tear gas to repel the students.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by the use of force against students nonviolently exercising their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of 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, to which Indonesia is a party. While state security forces have a responsibility to maintain order and safety, they also have a responsibility to refrain from disproportionate force and to refrain from restricting nonviolent expressive activity. Such use of force, especially in response to 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)