On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, police from the Iraqi province of Nineveh announced the attempted assassination of the president of Mosul University, Abu Sa’eed al-Dewachi. An explosive device, reportedly planted near Professor al-Dewachi’s on-campus home, was set off, injuring one of his bodyguards. As of this report, no one has claimed the responsibility of the attack.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about an apparently targeted attack on a professor. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and freedom of expression in the region. State authorities have a responsibility to ensure the security of academic communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators of violent attacks accountable.