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 29, 2015

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Karachi

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 29, 2015, Dr. Waheedur Rehman, a professor in the Department of Mass Communications at the University of Karachi, was killed when four gunmen, two of whom were on motorbikes, reportedly surrounded the car he was traveling in and fired upon him. The gunmen reportedly fled the scene of the attack, and were not in custody as of this report.
Dr. Rehman, who also worked as a journalist and wrote under the pen name Yasir Rizvi, had been a student of former Dr. Shakeel Auj, a progressive scholar of Islamic Studies who was killed in a similar incident in September 2014, when gunmen on motorbikes fired on his car.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the apparently targeted killing of 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.