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 25, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):University of Kurdistan

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 25, 2022, Iranian authorities arrested University of Kurdistan professor Behrouz Chamanara after he attended a meeting about ongoing campus protests.

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 25, Chamanara, a professor of Kurdish literature and the former head of the Kurdish Research Institute reportedly attended a meeting with university and government officials about campus protests. While Chamanara was on his way home from the meeting, security forces arrested him and detained him in an undisclosed location. On December 5, Chamanara was released on bail.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary arrest of a scholar 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.