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: April 20, 2014

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Imam Kadhim College

Region & Country:Western Asia | Iraq

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On Sunday, April 20, 2014, two armed men and a suicide bomber attacked the main gate of Imam Kadhim College in Baghdad, Iraq. The college is a private Shiite institution located in the Ur district of the northeastern section of the city.  Surveillance footage captured video of two armed men running away from the scene, followed by a suicide bomber, who detonated his bomb seconds later.  According to several sources, one teacher and four policemen were killed.  In addition, eighteen other civilians were wounded. The militant group ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) claimed responsibility for the attack, reportedly stating that the university had repeatedly “cursed” the prophet Mohammed and “trained” its students to fight Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Syria. 
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on university campuses.  Such attacks threaten the lives and well-being of members of higher education communities; undermine higher education functions, autonomy and academic freedom; and impair the ability of the higher education to serve its public mission.  All members of higher education communities, and all members of society, benefit from this mission, and all parties to a conflict have a responsibility to respect the autonomy, safety, and security of the higher education space.