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: June 07, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Karachi

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 7, 2022, unidentified individuals abducted two University of Karachi philosophy students, Doda Ellahi and Gamshad Baloch, at their homes and took them to an undisclosed location.

Reports indicate that unidentified individuals broke into the two Baloch students’ house near Maskan Chowrangi in Karachi around 5:00 am on June 7. The individuals abducted the students and held them at an unknown location. The abduction occurred during an apparent spike in cases of enforced disappearances of Baloch students across the country.

On July 13, the students’ relatives and supporters organized protests to raise awareness about their disappearance; police responded with force and arrested a number of protesters, prompting further outrage. On June 14, both students returned home. No further information regarding their abduction has since been made available.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the abduction of students, especially when they appear to be a part of a pattern of targeting of students based on their ethnicity. State authorities have an obligation to take all available measures to prevent and respond effectively to abductions, including by holding perpetrators accountable and protecting higher education spaces to the extent possible.

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