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 28, 2012

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment | Loss of Position

Institution(s):University of Kara

Region & Country:Western Africa | Togo

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Students at the University of Kara report continued harassment by police on campus. According to reports, student leaders compiled a protest platform which led to a commitment by university authorities to grant student benefits and merit-based scholarships. However students grew increasingly dissatisfied with the pace of change at the university and organized a general assembly on campus to discuss their concerns. Police dispersed the gathering and subsequently arrested four members of the National Union of Pupils and Students of Togo (UNEET). Agnité Massama, Bitsioudi Birénam, and Sidiba Mohamed, were arrested on March 28, and Alinki M’claw, on April 3, for allegedly organizing an “illegal demonstration.” It is reported that Agnité Massama, Bitsioudi Birénam, and Sidiba Mohamed were severely beaten prior to arrest. All four students were released without charge on April 24, 2012 after several weeks in detention. 

Prior to this incident, in February 2012, Alinki M’claw, Agnité Massama, and Bitsioudi Birénam had been arrested on identical charges after organizing another general assembly at the university. It was reported that at the time they had been tortured in detention before being released without charge after a week. 


On September 11, 2012, 24 student leaders, including Alinki M’claw, Agnité Massama, Bitsioudi Birénam, and Sidiba Mohamed, were expelled from the University of Kara for what university administrators called disciplinary reasons. Students have since organized a “Collective Save the Students” campaign, sending letters and petitions to government officials, including the President and Prime Minster of Togo, arguing for their reinstatement at the university. As of November 2012, their campaign has been unsuccessful. 

UPDATE: This report is followed by an update. To view, please click here.