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: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Tabriz

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 2, 2022, Iranian security forces reportedly shot and killed Morteza Shirmohammadi, a Tabriz University medical student, during protests in Tabriz city.

Shirmohammadi 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, the security agents who brought Shirmohammadi’s body to his family told them only that “he died during the demonstration.”

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.