On April 20, 2022, so-called morality guards attacked students at the Iran University of Science and Technology while they attempted to distribute a statement.
A few members of the school’s Islamic Association distributed copies of a statement condemning the heightened presence of morality police on campus, especially in women’s dormitories, enforcing compulsory Islamic dress and other regulations. In an apparent attempt to prevent the students from distributing the statement, morality police physically attacked the students, forcing one of the students who was carrying several copies of the statement to flee. Security police reportedly chased the student on motorcycle and on foot and beat him when they caught up to him.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of violence against students peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression – conduct which is protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory. State authorities must not violently retaliate against or deter protected expressive activity. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, the use of violence in response to student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.