Press Release: Attacks on Kabul University and Educational Facilities in Afghanistan

Press Release: Attacks on Kabul University and Educational Facilities in Afghanistan

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Kabul University, killing 22 students and leaving tens more wounded. We are deeply saddened and concerned by this grave act of violence against an educational institute. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.

On Monday 2 November 2020, a group of armed men broke into Kabul University campus and opened fire on students in classrooms, leaving at least 22 students dead and 22 others injured according to initial reports. This grave incident follows numerous attacks on educational facilities in Afghanistan over the last years – with more than 5 attacks since the start of 2020 [5], the latest of which targeted another educational center in Kabul just over a week earlier on 24 October 2020 [4].

The IFMSA believes that the right to education entails the right of all individuals to a safe educational environment and recognizes the grave effects violence against education can have on the development of children and young people, representing a violation of their basic human rights. The IFMSA also reaffirms the protection of educational facilities under international humanitarian law.

Therefore, the IFMSA calls on the government of Afghanistan to :

  • Take necessary measures to thoroughly investigate incidents of attacks on educational facilities and to prosecute perpetrators;
  • Take necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of educational institutions, including regular security checks as well as established plans for evacuating students and staff to a safer location upon attacks and emergencies;
  • Offer assistance and support to the victims, and their families, without any type of stigmatization and ensure their full and safe integration back into the educational process.
  • Ensure the restoration of the educational process and ask for aid for the rebuilding of the educational facilities destroyed during the shooting.

Lastly, the IFMSA calls on different involved parties to stop the bloodshed, to respect human life, and to uphold the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the protection provided to civilian facilities including educational institutions.

References: 

  1. Kabul University: 22 dead, more wounded as gunmen storm campus (2020, November 2). BBC. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-54750839
  2. IS attack on Afghan university leaves 22 dead, 22 wounded. (2020, November 2). Associated Press News. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/article/kabul-university-attack-19-dead-ff95756da86734144d6d61e8aa718057 
  3. Afghan bombing: Kabul education centre attack kills at least 24. (2020, October 25). BBC. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-54676319
  4. Insecurity Insights. Education in Danger Monthly News Brief.  Retrieved from Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) – https://data.humdata.org