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: October 12, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Hamadan University of Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 12, 2022, Iranian security forces beat Negin Abdolmalmaleki, a 21 year-old student in Biomedical Engineering at Hamadan University of Technology, during a protest. The beating included blows to her head, which later killed her.

At the time that she was beaten, Abdolmalmaleki was participating in a protest related to the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement that arose following the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini while in custody of the “morality police.” According to reports, Abdolmalmaleki returned to her dormitory room after the beating, where she died. Officials and security forces at the university apparently threatened her friends and family to say that she had died after eating expired canned fish. According to Hengaw, government media reported that Abdolmalmaleki died from intoxication from alcohol.

On October 24, 2022, Hamadan University students went on strike from classes to protest Abdolmalmeleki’s killing.

Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned about the use of lethal force during student protests. SAR offers condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased student. While state authorities have a responsibility to maintain order and security, they also have an obligation to ensure that their actions are proportionate to the situation. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, violence during protests undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.