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 14, 2022

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Sanandaj Girls Technical College

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 14, 2022, security forces arrested four students in front of the university dormitory in apparent connection to their participation in a December 10 campus 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.

On December 10, Sanandaj Girls Technical College students protested against Shekari’s execution. Security forces reportedly beat students and arrested Bita Veisi, a student of physical education (see report).

On December 14, security forces arrested four other students; Sana Khodamoradi, Tina Khedri, Rezvan Bazaniqaleh, and Hanieh Chahardoli, in front of their dormitory. On December 17, Khodamoradi, Khedri, Bazeniqaleh, and Chahardoli were reportedly released on bail.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary arrest of students in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly – 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 actions undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.