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 14, 2020

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Nangarhar University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 14, 2020, unidentified individuals shot and killed Nangarhar University professor Adam Khan Mulatar.

Mulutar, a professor in the faculty of Pashto literature, was in the Khogryani district of Nangarhar province, on his way to the university, at the time of the attack. The assailants reportedly fled the scene following the attack. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In recent months, there has been an increase in violent attacks in Afghanistan despite a peace deal signed between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned about a targeted, violent attack on a scholar and offers condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues. In addition to the terrible loss of life, such attacks target the core values of higher education, including academic freedom, the free exchange of ideas, and social responsibility. State authorities have a responsibility to safeguard these values by taking all reasonable steps to ensure the security of higher education communities and their members, including a responsibility to deter future attacks by investigating incidents and making every effort to hold perpetrators accountable, consistent with internationally recognized standards. Members of society similarly have a responsibility to help safeguard the higher education space, especially following incidents of such gross violence, by pressing demands to state authorities for greater protection and accountability, and by contributing to efforts to understand and reinforce principles of autonomy and academic freedom.