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: September 20, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Iran University of Science and Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 20, 2022, campus security officers, reportedly alongside plainclothes members of the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary group, attempted to restrict students from participating in a nonviolent demonstration at the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST).

Starting on September 17, protests spread across Iran, including at various universities, following the death-in-custody of Jina Amini (also known as Mahsa Amini) after so-called “morality police” detained her. Police and security forces have responded to the protests with violence and arrests.

On September 20, IUST students held a protest where they marched through campus. Campus security and alleged Basij members confronted the students and attempted to prevent them from continue their march off-campus by shoving students back. Videos of the incidents appear to show intense jostling between security and students at the front of the protest.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about campus security officers and alleged members of a paramilitary group attempting to restrict students’ peaceful expressive activity. While campus security has a responsibility to maintain safety and order, they must also refrain from restricting or retaliating against peaceful expressive activity. Such incidents undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.