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: Imprisonment


Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 20, 2022, security forces reportedly arrested Mansoureh Mousavi, a sociologist of women’s studies in apparent connection to her research.

Mousavi’s research focuses on the sociology of the body and women’s sexuality. Security forces reportedly confiscated Mousavi’s laptop and several documents during her arrest. Authorities have not publicly disclosed her whereabouts or what charges she faces, if any.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary arrest of a scholar. State authorities have an obligation to refrain from taking action to restrict or retaliate against the peaceful exercise of academic freedom and/or the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association – 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 Iran is a signatory. In addition to harm to the immediate victim, such arbitrary arrests undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.