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: July 26, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Institution(s):University of Kinshasa

Region & Country:Central Africa | Congo (DRC-Kinshasa)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 26, 2021, police reportedly clashed with students during a protest at the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN) over the murder of a student by a police officer.

On July 24, Honoré Shama, a second-year student of Information and Communication Sciences at UNIKIN, was filming a video off campus for a cinema course with other students when a police officer accused Shama of not wearing a mask and shot and killed him.

On July 26, students gathered in front of UNIKIN to condemn the killing. They attempted to march off campus but were blocked by police. Students reportedly burned tires and threw stones at police while police fired tear gas at students. Police reportedly arrested at least eight students.

UNIKIN suspended classes for the remainder of the week to allow students to mourn Shama’s death.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about acts by state authorities intended to prevent lawful protest by students, and about violence during on-campus student protests. While students have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they must exercise these rights peacefully and responsibly. State authorities must likewise refrain from preventing students from leaving campus to engage in protest activities, and must exercise restraints and refrain from disproportionate responses to violent and destructive actions. Such actions harm the ability of higher education communities to safely and adequately conduct research, teaching, and other academic activities, undermining academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

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