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: June 10, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Georgia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 10, 2022, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) students and off campus groups forcibly occupied the rector’s office, injuring four security guards and assaulting a professor.

Starting on May 2, 2022, when academic activities were set to resume in person, TSU students held protests raising a number of demands, including the resignation of rector Giorgi Sharvashidze, a reformation of the rector electoral process, the construction of a dormitory, online final exams, and financial transparency. Over the following weeks, students reportedly had 20 meetings with the TSU administration and 2 meetings with Sharvashidze.

On June 10, students and individuals not from TSU protested in front of the rector’s office demanding a meeting with him. Protesters forcibly pushed their way through security guards who were posted in front of the office and assaulted a professor. Four security guards were hospitalized for their injuries.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence during a student protest on campus. While students have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they also have a responsibility to exercise those rights peacefully, without resorting to physical violence or intimidation. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, violence during student protests on campus undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.