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: November 05, 2019

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Jahangirnagar University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 5, 2019, individuals believed to be members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the ruling political party, attacked student and faculty demonstrators, injuring at least twenty.

Since August 23, 2019, Jahangirnagar University students have demanded an investigation into allegations of corruption against Vice-Chancellor Farzana Islam. On the evening of November 4, students gathered in front of Islam’s residence on campus to call for her resignation. On November 5, students continued their protest, and a small group of faculty joined them. Reports indicate that a group of individuals suspected to be members of the BCL arrived and attacked the student and faculty protesters, injuring at least twenty.

In response to the violence, the university administration ordered students to vacate residence halls and closed the university indefinitely.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent and apparently targeted attack on students and faculty during a campus protest. State and university authorities have a responsibility to protect peaceful student expression and to take reasonable steps to respond to and prevent such attacks, including by investigating and holding perpetrators accountable. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.