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: January 30, 2024

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):Azad University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 30, 2024, Tina Deljoo, a prominent women’s rights advocate, university lecturer, and Ph.D candidate in Political Sciences at Azad University, began serving a one-year sentence at Lakan Prison in Rasht.

Deljoo was arrested shortly before receiving her sentence and convicted on charges of “propaganda against the regime.” Deljoo had participated in protests against the regime through online activity on her Instagram page.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary imprisonment and prosecution of a scholar in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression — 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 the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and and harms related higher education values including autonomy and social responsibility.