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: January 24, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Barisal University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 24, 2023, a group of at least 10 members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the ruling party, the Awami League, attacked a leader from a rival BCL faction in a student dormitory at Barisal University.

The assailants reportedly entered BCL leader Mohiuddin Ahmed Sifat’s dorm room and stabbed him multiple times. They also beat two other students, GM Fahad and AK Jihad, who were in Sifat’s room at the time of the attack. All three students were hospitalized.

On January 25, police arrested four BCL members, including three current students and one alumnus, for the attack.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent and apparently targeted attack against a student in apparent connection to the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of association. State and university authorities should take reasonable steps to respond to and prevent such attacks, including by investigating and holding perpetrators accountable. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

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