On November 25, state authorities closed Kabul’s four major public universities for 10 days after student clashes at Kabul University left at least one student dead and several injured. The violence erupted on November 24, at a university dormitory, where Shia students seeking to commemorate the annual Shia holy day of Ashura clashed with Sunni students. According to reports, students attacked each other with sticks and rocks, and at least one student was pushed out of a window. Following the student clashes the Ministry of Higher Education announced the university closures as a “precautionary measure” due to concerns that violence could escalate.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about allegations of physical violence and destruction on campus. While students and other members of higher education communities have the right to engage in expressive activity, they have a responsibility to exercise that right peacefully and in a matter consistent with the values of the university space, including social responsibility.