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: November 02, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):Iran University of Science and Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 2, 2022, Iranian security forces – in cooperation with the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) – reportedly arrested Ali Fatahi, a chemical engineering student, apparently for his participation in protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of so-called “morality police.”

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 November 2, security forces reportedly arrested Fatahi at the front gates of IUST. After 35 days, he was reportedly released on bail.

On February 1, 2023, it was reported that Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Fatahi to three years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security.”

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary arrest and prosecution of a student in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association – conduct which is 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 signatory. In addition to harm to the immediate victim, such arbitrary arrests undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.