In 2018, the arrest of the Durham PhD student, Matthew Hedges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the charges of spying and more recently of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, both researchers at Sciences Po Paris who are detained in Iran since 2019, are further examples of political backlash against academics and students. Increasingly authoritarian states are strengthening the grip on independent scholarship by either depriving academic critics of their personal liberty and individual freedoms, or banning those scholarly activities which are not aligned with the regime’s vision.