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 30, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Islamic Azad University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 30, 2022, students reportedly clashed at Islamic Azad University during a ceremony to honor the victims of an attack on a shrine.

On October 26, three armed men reportedly entered the Shah Cheragh Shrine, a holy site in the city of Shiraz, and opened fire, leaving at least 15 people dead and 40 injured. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack.

On October 30, students holding a ceremony to honor the victims of the attack were confronted by another group of students; the two groups began to clash violently, throwing stones and beating each other with sticks. A tear gas canister was reportedly fired during the clashes. It is unclear what sparked the conflict or which group struck the other first.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence during a nonviolent student demonstration. Students have a responsibility to carry out expressive activities peacefully and responsibility. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, the use of violent force during demonstrations undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.