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: September 13, 2015

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Diyala

Region & Country:Western Asia | Iraq

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 13, 2015, Mohamed Akram Hamid, a professor of biology in Diyala University, was reportedly wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car as he was driving with his family on the Baquba-Balad Ruz road.  Professor Hamid’s sister, who was in the car with him, was reportedly shot and died immediately. As of this report, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the apparently targeted killing of a higher education professional and members of his family.  In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, 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 of violent attacks accountable.