On April 6, 2022, members of the Taliban entered a student dormitory at Badakhshan University late at night and beat students for not attending Taraweeh prayer, a special prayer during Ramadan which the Taliban has mandated.
According to students in touch with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, two members of the Taliban entered the dormitory around 8:30 pm, at which point the students had already completed the prayer and returned to studying. The Taliban proceeded to physically attack several students for purportedly not performing the prayer and refused to listen to them when they said that they had. Two students reportedly required hospitalization for their injuries and were transported to Badakhshan Regional Hospital.
Students condemned the attack and protested in front of the university the following day, calling on the Taliban to respect the right to privacy.
Scholars at Risk is concerned by members of the Taliban arbitrarily entering campus space and attacking students. Governing authorities have an obligation to refrain from engaging in arbitrary violence against students and entering campus space without a compelling reason to do so. University and governing authorities should seek to investigate any violations of that obligation and hold perpetrators accountable. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, entering campus and using unnecessary violence against students undermine 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)