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 27, 2011

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):University of Malawi

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Malawi

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 29, Robert Chasowa, a student leader at the University of Malawi, died while in police custody. Chasowa had been arrested after a student newsletter he was involved with published an article demanding accountability for alleged human rights abuses and corruption by a high level government official. Police authorities alleged that he had committed suicide. The current President Joyce Banda has set up a commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

UPDATE October 10, 2012: In October 2012, the commission of inquiry announced its findings concluding that Chasowa had not committed suicide but had been murdered while in police custody.