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 10, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Sanandaj Girls Technical College

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 10, 2022, state security forces reportedly attacked students participating in a protest at the Sanandaj Girls Technical College, following the execution of a protester from nationwide demonstrations over the death of a young woman who was in the custody of so-called “morality police.” Security forces detained one student during the protest.

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 December 8, authorities executed Mohsen Shekari, the first protester to be executed since protests began in September. Shekari’s execution prompted immediate condemnation and further demonstrations.

At Sanandaj Girls Technical College, students protested against Shekari’s execution. Security forces reportedly beat students and arrested Bita Veisi, a student of physical education. Authorities have not publicly disclosed Veisi’s whereabouts or released information about her condition.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence by state security forces, and the arbitrary arrest 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 victims, such use of violence and arbitrary arrests undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

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