On October 9, 2022, Iranian authorities temporarily closed all higher education institutions and schools in the Kurdistan province in an apparent attempt to restrict protests.
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.
Security forces have reportedly responded violently to a number of protests in Amini’s home province of Kurdistan. On October 8, security forces used force against university and secondary school students participating in protests across the region. Two young women were killed during the protests.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the closure, by state authorities, of higher education institutions, in an apparent attempt to restrict student expression. State authorities must refrain from restricting or otherwise interfering in students’ expressive and academic activities so long as they are peaceful and responsible. The closing of higher education institutions undermines academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.