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: December 05, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Unspecified Institution(s)

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Nepal

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 5, 2022, police intervened and reportedly arrested 10 students affiliated with the Nepal Students Union (NSU) protesting in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Lalitpur, in response to news that a military court in Myanmar had sentenced to death seven students for their opposition to a 2021 military coup and ongoing military rule in the country.

Available sources and images indicate that the students held posters and chanted outside the embassy gates. Reports do not suggest the students engaged in any violent or illegal activity. Police told The Annapurna Post that they arrested the students for protesting in an allegedly prohibited area.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about police arresting students in an apparent effort to restrict their nonviolent exercise of the 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 Nepal is a party. State authorities have an obligation to refrain from restrictions on the nonviolent exercise of such rights. Arrests intended to restrict organized student expression undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

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