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: March 03, 2024

Attack Types: Prosecution

Institution(s):Shiraz University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Iran

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 3, 2024, Sheyda Saberi, a student at Shiraz University, announced on Instagram that she had received a summons from the 7th branch of the Revolutionary Court of Yasuj on charges of “disrupting public order,” “propaganda against the regime,” and “participating in an illegal gathering”.

Saberi’s charges are connected to her first arrest and subsequent detention in September 2022 when she participated in a “Woman, Life, Freedom” protest in the city of Yasuj, holding banners and cutting her hair off. She was arrested again and held for 12 days on the first anniversary of the movement.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary imprisonment and prosecution of a student in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly — 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 undermine democratic society generally.