On October 18, 2022, an unidentified individual drove his vehicle through a student during a protest outside the Federal University of Viçosa, resulting in minor injuries to the student.
The students had assembled in and blocked traffic on a street outside the campus entrance as part of a protest over cuts to the federal education budget. One motorist exited his vehicle and approached the students to demand they allow his passage. When the students declined and directed him to a detour, the motorist responded with threats. The motorist returned to his vehicle and accelerated as one of the students stood in front of the vehicle. The student was then dragged on the hood of the vehicle for nearly ten seconds before it came to a stop. Protesters rushed to aid the student and the driver fled the scene.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about a civilian carrying out a violent attack on a student protester. State authorities should take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to such incidents, including by investigating and holding perpetrators accountable. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such attacks undermine student expression, academic freedom, and democratic society.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)