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: January 23, 2024

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Institution(s):Adventist University, Haiti

Region & Country:Americas | Haiti

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 23, 2024, a group of members of an armed group entered Adventist University’s campus and briefly detained and intimidated the security guards.

The incident occurred after the group learned that the Haitian National Police (PNH) would potentially be using the university’s campus as passage during operations to contain the armed group. Upon entering the campus, the armed individuals seized the security guards’ weapons, inspected the area, and threatened the guards with retaliation if the university allowed PNH forces to transit through the campus.

The university’s administration suspended all academic operations two days after the incident, reopening four weeks later, on February 21.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the intimidation of university staff members and forced entry into a higher education institution by armed groups. 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, where possible, security forces, including police, should avoid using university grounds for operational purposes. In cases when security forces cannot avoid using university grounds, they should take precautions to avoid harm to university personnel or infrastructure when doing so. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, campus raids and intimidation of higher education members undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.