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: July 01, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Baghdad

Region & Country:Western Asia | Iraq

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 1, 2013, Dr. Ahmad Shakir, professor of the University of Baghdad’s College of Medicine and specialist in cardio-vascular diseases, was killed when a bomb planted in his car exploded in the al-Za’faraniya area, south of Baghdad. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
UNESCO condemned the attack, noting: “A clear message must be sent to the perpetrators that their acts will not go unpunished. Such crimes affect the Iraqi society at whole, as they erode the human capital of the country. Teachers and professors define the shape of our future. They are the true advocates of durable peace and sustainable development in Iraq.”
Scholars at Risk is concerned about continued violent attacks on higher education communities in Iraq. Aside from the harm to the immediate victim, these attacks undermine the ability of higher education communities to serve their educational, research and social functions.  State and university authorities have a responsibility to protect higher education personnel from such threats, and to do so in ways that do not undermine academic freedom or institutional autonomy.  State and university officials also have a responsibility to prevent future attacks by holding perpetrators accountable.
Sources (ARABIC)