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: October 29, 2014

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Dhamar University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, armed Houthi militants entered state-run Dhamar University in Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a, occupying the campus.  The Houthi militants have been engaged in fighting with Yemeni government forces for several months, and as of this report, have recently taken control of Sana’a.  The Houthis reportedly claimed that they were occupying the campus to eliminate university corruption.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about forced entry and occupation of university campuses by state or non-state military forces.  All parties to military conflict should avoid occupation, use or targeting of educational facilities, including universities.  Entry into or control of higher education facilities undermines university autonomy and academic freedom, and impairs the ability of higher education institutions to serve their educational, social and public functions, including imparting the skills and knowledge necessary for respectful discourse, understanding and peace-building.