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: February 04, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Port-au-Prince

Region & Country:Americas | Haiti

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 4, 2022, members of a criminal group abducted Gérard Dorcély, the rector of the University of Port-au-Prince, and allegedly held him for ransom until his release on February 21, 2022.

Sources indicate that Dorcély and his chauffeur were abducted in the commune of Croix-des-Bouquets while he was returning home. 400 Mawozo, a criminal group behind kidnappings in recent months, was reportedly behind the abduction of Dorcély. A growing number of academics had been kidnapped in Haiti since 2021.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the abduction of a higher education administrator. State authorities should take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of scholars, students, and staff, including by investigating and holding perpetrators of such acts responsible, in line with international human rights standards. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, patterns of abductions targeting members of the higher education system undermine the conditions needed for the meaningful exercise of the right to education and academic freedom.

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