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 14, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):An-Najah National University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Palestine (OPT)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 14, 2022, university security personnel and students clashed by the gates of An-Najah National University during a sit-in to protest the recent dismissal of students. Four students were injured.

On June 8, students convened a vigil at An-Najah National University to protest a recent incident in which security forces attacked the university’s Islamic bloc student representative and confiscated his phone. During the vigil, Palestinian Authority security forces in civilian clothes, students from the Islamic bloc, and students from the Student Youth Movement clashed violently. Following the incident, An-Najah University dismissed 10 employees and students allegedly involved in the events.

On June 14, students organized a sit-in outside the entrance of Al-Najah National University to protest the students’ dismissals. Reports indicate that university security personnel clashed with students–using violent force and tear gas canisters–during the sit-in. Four students sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence against students in apparent retaliation for their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly – 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 Palestine is party. State and university authorities have an obligation to refrain from taking action to restrict or punish expressive, associative, and political activity, so long as it is peaceful and responsible. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, the intimidation, detention, and assault of students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.