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 14, 2023

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):Dhamar University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Yemen

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 14, 2023, it was reported that Dhamar University (DU) dismissed six students in apparent retaliation for their participation in campus protests.

Students of the mechatronics department of the Faculty of Engineering held protests on campus over a number of issues, including interference by Houthi forces in the university and demands for improved laboratory infrastructure.

The DU president reportedly dismissed six students from the Faculty of Engineering in apparent connection to their participation in the protests. The dismissal sparked immediate condemnation by DU students and faculty.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a higher education institution dismissing students for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — conduct that is expressly protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Higher education officials should respect students’ exercise of such rights and refrain from disciplinary actions that punish or deter nonviolent expressive activity. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, disciplinary actions intended to deter or punish student protests on campus undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.