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 17, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Takhar University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 17, 2022, Taliban forces reportedly arrested 30 female students at Takhar University.

According to Hashte Subh, Taliban forces arrested the students for leaving their university dormitory without the Taliban’s permission. The students reportedly went to a park. Mohammad Natiq, a journalist, reported in a Tweet that the students were arrested during a campus event for criticizing new rules regarding female dress, including rules mandating hijabs and face coverings.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arrest of students in apparent retaliation for the nonviolent exercise of the right to freedom of movement or 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 Afghanistan is a party. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, the arrest of students undermines academic freedom, university autonomy, and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)