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: October 04, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):University of Maiduguri

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 4, 2021, security guards reportedly used force against and detained students participating in a nonviolent protest at the University of Maiduguri.

Dozens of students were reportedly protesting an increase in tuition fees and faulty electricity and water access on campus when security personnel arrived to disperse them.

Security personnel hit protesters with sticks and detained as many as 38 students. Sources reported that some of the students were detained apparently after fleeing to a female dormitory on campus. Students were reportedly held overnight in what was described as a university detention facility.

Female students reported being sexually harassed by security guards breaking up the protest. They also claimed that some of the female students were stripped of their clothing.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force, detentions, and reports of sexual violence by security personnel, in an apparent effort to restrict nonviolent, on-campus student expression. University authorities have a responsibility to refrain from restricting nonviolent student expression and should investigate the use of force and other violence by private security personnel. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such incidents undermine academic freedom and student expression.