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 25, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Khartoum

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Sudan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 25, 2021, shortly after the start of a military coup, soldiers raided a dormitory at the University of Khartoum, where they used force against students in an apparent effort to deter anti-coup protest activities.

One student reported that the soldiers confiscated students’ mobile phones, used whips against them, and ordered them to leave the dormitory. Another student reported that soldiers shaved his head.

On November 6, the University of Khartoum and several other universities announced indefinite suspensions of academic activities due to coup-related violence.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by campus raids and the military’s use of force against students in an apparent effort to restrict or retaliate against their exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, conduct that is expressly protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan is a party. State authorities and security forces have an obligation to refrain from restricting or punishing nonviolent expressive activity. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, campus raids and the use of force against student activists undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.