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: November 28, 2023

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):University of Tripoli

Region & Country:Northern Africa | Libya

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 28, 2023, members of an armed group claiming to be affiliated with the Internal Security Apparatus of the Government of National Unity, arrested Dr. Abdulkader Al-Lamoushi (also written Abdulghder Yusef Elamoushi), a faculty staff member at the University of Tripoli and the head of the National Association for Talented and Gifted People.

The arrest took place inside the University of Tripoli campus, without an arrest warrant, according to Al-Lamoushi’s brother.

Al-Lamoushi had recently participated in a meeting related to an ongoing protest by university teaching staff, who were demanding administrative sabbaticals for teaching assistants and faculty and the resumption of a study-abroad delegation plan. Al-Lamoushi’s brother reported that he suspected Al Lamoushi’s arrest was because of his participation in that meeting. Two weeks prior to Al-Lamoushi’s arrest, Libya’s Internal Security Agency had also detained Professor Abdel Fattah Al-Sayeh, the head of the General Syndicate of University Teaching Staff Members (GSUTSM), holding him for several days (see report).

Pictures posted to Facebook showed Al-Lamoushi being released the same day as his arrest.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary detention of a faculty member and union leader for the nonviolent exercise of the right to freedom of expression – conduct that is protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Libya is a party. State and governing authorities have an obligation to refrain from taking actions to restrict or retaliate against such conduct, so long as it is nonviolent and responsible. In addition to harm to the immediate victim, arbitrary detention intended to restrict or otherwise deter the peaceful expressive activity of scholars undermines academic freedom and democratic society more generally.