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 11, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Anadolu University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 11, 2022, police assaulted and detained two students walking in a graduation procession at Anadolu University (AU) when they attempted to unfurl a banner that said “we haven’t forgotten Ali İsmail.” İsmail was an AU student who was killed by police during a 2013 protest.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence against, and the arrest of students in apparent retaliation for their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression – conduct that is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a party. State authorities have a responsibility to refrain from interfering in the peaceful exercise of the right to free expression and association on campus. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom, freedom of expression, and democratic society generally.