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 05, 2014

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Sana'a- College of Dentistry

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 5, 2014, a group of unidentified gunmen reportedly attempted to assassinate Professor Al-Qasim Mohammad Abbas Sharaf al-Din, the Dean of the Dentistry College at Sana’a University, in Sana’a’s city center. Security forces reported that roughly 18 gunmen approached Professor Sharaf al-Din’s car at a security point and opened fire on him.  When the professor’s driver drew a pistol and began firing back, the gunmen reportedly fled.  Professor Sharaf al-Din suffered minor injuries, and was treated at a nearby hospital.  No one has claimed responsibility for the crime.
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 institutional autonomy. State officials have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators accountable.