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 28, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 28, 2022, state security forces reportedly fired tear gas and pellet guns at a student dormitory on the campus of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences.

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 28, protesters gathered outside of Kausar hospital to protect an injured protester and commemorate 40 days since the death of another protester at the hands of security forces. Shortly after, security forces fired tear gas and pellet guns at the protesters, then rode on motorbikes to the university dormitory and fired tear gas and pellet guns injuring several students.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of violence by state security forces in an apparent attempt to restrict students from exercising their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — 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.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)