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: November 02, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Kinshasa

Region & Country:Central Africa | Congo (DRC-Kinshasa)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 2, 2013, a newly registered female student at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Kinshasa was raped by a third year student at the same university.  The student who perpetrated the act was expelled from the university, as were two students who helped him escape authorities immediately afterward.  The attack was reportedly part of a practice known as “bluesailles,” an increasingly pervasive and increasingly violent set of hazing practices occurring at Congolese universities, in which older students attack and humiliate younger students.  According to reports, violent, bluesailles-related attacks are occurring as often as once a day, causing widespread concern among students and parents about on-campus safety.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on students, particularly when such attacks are part of a widespread pattern that diminishes the overall safety and security of the university space.  State and university authorities have a responsibility to ensure the security of academic communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators of violent attacks accountable.