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 09, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Facultyof Medicine | University of Bamako

Region & Country:Western Africa | Mali

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 9, 2013, at least 37 students were seriously injured when police forces opened fire on a peaceful student sit-in on campus.
According to reports, police fired teargas at the crowd, chasing students away from the campus. Several students were reportedly beaten. In addition, police reportedly entered student dormitories, allegedly stealing personal items including several laptops and cell phones, and destroyed dozens of motorcycles parked on campus, a main means of transportation for many students.
The students had been protesting peacefully to prompt negotiations between university authorities and the teacher’s union, the Syndicat national de l’enseignement superieur (SNESUP). The union had announced an indefinite strike, leading to the suspension of classes, after university officials failed to honor an agreement promising increases in teacher salaries
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the apparent interference with students’ right to engage peacefully in expressive activity on campus. State and university authorities have a responsibility to protect students from violence on campus and not to interfere with their right to expressive activity, so long as that activity is undertaken peacefully and responsibly.
Sources (video) (French) (French),157945.html (French) (French) (French) (French) (French)