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 06, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Université Publique du bas-Artibonite à Saint-Marc

Region & Country:Americas | Haiti

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 6, 2023, unidentified armed individuals abducted Wilfrid Azarre, the rector of the Université Publique du bas-Artibonite à Saint-Marc (UPBAS), his daughter, and an administrative employee. They were riding a bus when the kidnappers ordered the other riders to get off and abducted them.

There is no further information on the perpetrators and circumstances of the abduction, but reports suggest that gangs are likely behind the abduction. A growing number of professionals, including academics, have been the targets of kidnappings in recent years in Haiti.

On February 7, the Rectorate of the State University of Haiti released a statement denouncing the kidnapping and called for their unconditional release.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the kidnapping of university employees and their family members. 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, kidnappings targeting members of the higher education community undermine the conditions needed for the meaningful exercise of the right to education and academic freedom.

Sources:
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)
https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-38792-icihaiti-insecurity-kidnapping-of-the-rector-of-the-public-university-of-bas-artibonite.html
https://www.prensa-latina.cu/2023/02/07/universidad-estatal-de-haiti-denuncio-secuestro-de-rector
https://haiti24.net/enlevement-du-recteur-de-luniversite-du-bas-artibonite-le-rueh-sindigne/

—————————————————————————————-

El 6 de febrero de 2023, individuos armados no identificados secuestraron a Wilfrid Azarre, rector de la Universit Publique du bas-Artibonite Saint-Marc (UPBAS), a su hija y a un empleado administrativo. Viajaban en autobús cuando los secuestradores ordenaron a los demás pasajeros que se bajaran y procedieron con el secuestro.

No hay más información sobre los autores y las circunstancias del secuestro, pero los informes sugieren que es probable que bandas delincuenciales estén detrás del secuestro. Un número cada vez mayor de profesionales, incluidos académicos, han sido objeto de secuestros en los últimos años en Haití.

El 7 de febrero, el Rectorado de la Universidad Estatal de Haití emitió un comunicado en el que denunciaba el secuestro y pedía su liberación incondicional.

—————————————————————————————-

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is a member of the Coalition for Academic Freedom in the Americas (CAFA), and partners with CAFA on Americas-focused monitoring activities. Relevant incidents, with factual details translated into Spanish, appear on both SAR and CAFA websites.

Scholars at Risk (SAR) es una institución que integra la Coalición por la Libertad Académica en las Américas (CLAA). SAR trabaja junto con la CLAA en el monitoreo de situaciones en las Américas. Los incidentes relevantes que reportamos, con descripción de hechos detallados en español, aparecen tanto en los portales de SAR como de la CLAA.