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: December 03, 2023

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Mindanao State University, Marawi

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Philippines

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 3, 2023, an explosive device detonated in Mindanao State University, Marawi’s gymnasium during a Catholic mass. Four people were killed and about 50 injured.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, writing that its fighters had “detonated an explosive device on a large gathering of Christian disbelievers in Marawi City.”

The university announced additional security would be stationed on the campus and that all academic activities were suspended until further notice.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by a violent attack on a higher education institution. State authorities should take steps to prevent and respond to such attacks, including by carrying out investigations and holding perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international human rights standards. Violent attacks on campuses undermine core higher education values, including academic freedom, and democratic society generally.