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: February 26, 2024

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 26, 2024, media sources reported that the Central Committee of the Ministry of Science had barred Sepehr Rathi, a student in aerospace engineering and the secretary general of the Islamic Association at the Khajeh Nasir Toosi University, from all educational activities for two semesters.

The Central Committee summoned Rathi for a disciplinary hearing, accusing him of disrupting university affairs because of his protests against the behavior of Iranian security forces.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about government bans on access to higher education in retaliation for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Higher education and state authorities should respect students’ exercise of such rights and refrain from disciplinary actions that punish or deter nonviolent expressive activity. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, disciplinary actions intended to deter or punish support for ongoing protests undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.