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: September 09, 2020

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Sana'a University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 9, 2020, Houthi soldiers detained Sana’a University psychology professor Adnan Abdul Qadir Al-Sharjabi.

Sources, including faculty members, reported that Al-Sharjabi was taken into custody upon arrival at the university. The scholar’s family further reported that Houthi forces raided his home and confiscated his laptop and a flashdrive. Houthi forces did not disclose the basis for detaining Al-Sharjabi, nor did they disclose his whereabouts.

On October 6, Houthi forces released Al-Sharjabi from custody. It was reported that Al-Sharjabi was found in poor health after his release.

On November 1, he reportedly died as a result of heart and lung-related complications. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights reported that the Houthis denied Al-Sharjabi medical care while in custody.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary detention and apparent ill-treatment of a scholar, resulting in his death. SAR further offers condolences to Professor Al-Sharjabi’s family, friends, and colleagues. 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 victim, the arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of a scholar undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.