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 28, 2015

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Aden

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

New or Ongoing:Ongoing Incident

On October 28, 2015, militants traveling on a motorcycle reportedly detonated a bomb on the campus of the University of Aden, destroying windows and causing students to scatter for safety.  As of this report, the number or degree of casualties, if any, is unclear, and no group has publicly taken responsibility for the attack.

Two days prior to the bombing, however, ISIS members had reportedly issued a public threat, stating that bombing attacks would occur on campus starting on October 29, if students did not comply with their demands that the university immediately become sex segregated, music be banned, and students pray collectively on campus. 

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on campus, in apparent retaliation for nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and religion – conduct which is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  In addition to the harm to the immediate victims and university property, 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.

This is an update to an earlier report.  To view, please click here.