On June 20, 2022, members of the Ecuadorian National Police reportedly entered the National Polytechnic School without authorization in order to disperse a peaceful student protest.
Students had gathered on campus as part of a nationwide protest, beginning June 13. Having not been invited to enter the campus, police reportedly threatened and lied to campus security guards in order to gain access. Similar unauthorized encroachments on university spaces were reported at other campuses in Ecuador on June 15 (see report) at the University of Cuenca, and on June 21 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. University officials denounced the encroachments publicly. The universities and their allies caused a resolution to be adopted by the national Ombudsman’s Office barring national police and armed forces from entering university campuses or firing weapons into them, and establishing “peace borders” outside university campuses, to prevent confrontations between state authorities and protesters.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the unauthorized entry on a campus space by police and other state authorities, in order to prevent the nonviolent exercise of the right to freedom of expression and assembly by students. Such actions violate university autonomy and undermine academic freedom and harm democratic society generally.