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 01, 2020

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Other

Institution(s):University of Ibb

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 1, 2020, Houthi gunmen stormed a law class at the University of Ibb and abducted an unspecified number of students who were apparently suspected of being critical of them.

Sources indicate that a discussion among students over the WhatsApp chat application resulted in pro-Houthi students reporting on their classmates to Houthi representatives at the university. The students were studying at the time of the raid. It is unclear where the students were taken and whether they remain in custody.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by armed raids on campus and the arbitrary detention of students by non-state combatants. All parties to a conflict must refrain from the detention and disappearance of non-combatants, including members of higher education communities. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such attacks undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

* SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).