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: March 31, 2016

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):Universidad Metropolitana

Region & Country:Americas | Venezuela

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 31, 2016 members of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) temporarily detained Professor Benjamin Scharifker, rector of the Universidad Metropolitana.

PNB members reportedly approached Professor Scharifker while he was out on a morning jog.  After questioning him, they then ordered Professor Scharifker into a police vehicle, and drove to his home where armed individuals were waiting.  There, PNB members reportedly subjected Professor Scharifker to further questions about his identity, profession and connections, before leaving his home and releasing him.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the apparently arbitrary detention and custodial interrogation of a scholar.  In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and undermine democratic society generally.


La Unimet se pronunció por situación irregular que sufrió rector Scharifker