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 11, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Evelyn Hone College

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Zambia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 11, 2013, following the withdrawal of government scholarships, students of the Evelyn Hone College in Zambia embarked on a protest march, which became violent. A spokesperson for the college stated that the students had burned down six classrooms, although a student union representative denied that protesters were responsible for these acts. Police intervened in the protests and reportedly released tear gas on the students, arresting about seventy-two of them. According to sources, the arrested students were released after they were charged with breach of the peace and malicious damage to property. Each of the students allegedly paid a nominal guilt-admission fee before they were released. The college, which closed down in the aftermath of the riots, has since re-opened.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about allegations of violence 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. When state and university authorities are required to intervene in student protests to maintain order or security, they have a responsibility to do so in a way that respects institutional autonomy, academic freedom and human rights.