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: May 26, 2019

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):University of Baghdad

Region & Country:Western Asia | Iraq

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On May 26, 2019, Nabil Jassim, a professor at the College of Media at the University of Baghdad and the editor of the Baghdad Today Agency, reported that he received threats against himself and his family after reporting on alleged political corruption.

Starting in March 2019, Jassim and his colleagues began reporting on corruption of the Central Bank of Iraq involving government officials. On May 25, Jassim published a report alleging a money laundering scheme by the bank, in coordination with government officials. After publishing the report, Jassim reportedly began to receive anonymous phone calls threatening to kill him and his family if he did not stop publishing documents related to the bank.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent threats against scholars. State authorities have an obligation to take all available measures to ensure that campus and university personnel are able to exercise the rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression free from violence or harassment. Violent threats not only harm their immediate victims, but entire university communities and democratic society generally.