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: July 17, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan

Region & Country:Americas | Honduras

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 17, 2023, a group of hooded individuals entered the National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan (UPNFM) and forced student and faculty protesters to leave a university building.

On July 3, university union members, faculty members, and students began a sit-in to protest against the re-election of the university’s rector, Hermes Díaz. Díaz’s appointment ended on July 1, 2023, but he circumvented the rules to remain in his position.

Two weeks after the sit-in began, on July 17, a group of unidentified hooded individuals and private security guards, reportedly carrying batons, pipes and pepper spray, entered the university and assaulted the protesters, forcing them to leave and end the sit-in.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence against members of a university community and about the forced entry by armed individuals into a higher education institution. State and university authorities should take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of scholars, students, and staff, including by investigating and holding perpetrators of such acts responsible, in line with international human rights standards. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, campus raids and intimidation of higher education members undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

Sources:
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)
https://hch.tv/2023/07/17/liberada-la-upnfm-por-la-fuerza-encapuchados-sacaron-a-los-sindicalistas-y-abrieron-los-portones/
https://criterio.hn/como-acto-terrorista-catalogan-desalojo-violento-en-la-upnfm/
https://tiempo.hn/encapuchados-sacan-sindicalistas-abren-portones-upnfm/
https://proceso.hn/cofadeh-y-sindicato-tildan-de-terrorismo-el-desalojo-en-la-upnfm/
https://www.latribuna.hn/2023/07/17/desconocidos-desalojan-a-manifestantes-de-la-upnfm/