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: January 28, 2019

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Liberia

Region & Country:Western Africa | Liberia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 28, 2019, student groups reportedly clashed violently at University of Liberia’s Capitol Hill campus during the Liberian president’s annual address.

Students gathered to protest a ban on student political activities as well as a temporary suspension of campus activities, which was ostensibly ordered as part of security measures related to the president’s annual address. According to reports, students chanting “No school, no annual message” at the campus gates were met by pro-government students. Students on opposing sides reportedly began to clash violently, including by throwing stones at each other.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent clashes between students during a campus protest. While students have the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they have an obligation to exercise these rights nonviolently and responsibly. Such incidents endanger members of the campus community, undermine institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.