On October 1, 2022, state security forces fired tear gas in an apparent attempt to disperse students participating in a nonviolent protest at University of Isfahan (UI).
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 October 1, the start of in-person classes, students from UI joined a nationwide academic strike, involving students from over 100 higher education institutions. At least 100 UI students marched through campus and chanted slogans including “women, life, freedom” until security forces fired tear gas at them.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force by state security forces against students’ peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly on campus — conduct that is expressly 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 party. State authorities have an obligation to refrain from restricting or retaliating against the peaceful exercise of such rights. The use of force to restrict peaceful student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.