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 19, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Chittagong

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Bangladesh

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 19, 2023, members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the ruling party, the Awami League, assaulted a student journalist at the University of Chittagong (CU) over a disagreement about his sitting on a chair at a tea stall on campus.

The injured person, Dost Mohammad, is a fourth year communications student who works as a student correspondent for Amader Notun Somoy, a daily newspaper. During their disagreement, Khaled Masud, the legal secretary of the CU BCL branch, threw hot tea onto Mohammad. Other BCL members then began to beat Mohammad and continued their attack after he identified himself as a student journalist. At least ten BCL members took part in the assault.

Mohammad was transported to Chattogram Medical College and Hospital with serious injuries. CU Proctor Mohammad Nurul Azim Sikder visited him in the hospital.

On June 20, CU administration formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident. On June 22, CU announced six month suspensions for two BCL members who led the attack, Khaled Masud and Arafat Rayhan.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks by students on other students. State and university authorities must take reasonable measures to ensure safe living conditions for students, and students must refrain from violence. In addition to 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)