Academics condemn violence after lecturer’s murder

The murder of university teacher Bachir Sarhane Karaoui has led to calls from academics for universities to be protected and for the government to restore stability.

Karaoui was a lecturer in the law faculty of Université Djilali Bounaama Khemis Miliana in Tipaza. His body was found in a pool of blood in a housing estate in the town, according to a police statement, reported TSA.

Twin brothers, aged 23, were arrested, one a student at the Tipaza university centre and the other at the University El Afroun in Blida. The police did not reveal a motive, but said there was no connection with examination fraud.

The brothers were later charged with premeditated murder and ambush, reported TSA. It said Karaoui had been stabbed and hit with a hammer.

Reacting to the murder, the National Council of Higher Education Teachers, or CNES, called on Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune to take immediate action to “save universities from collapse”, reported TSA.

“Taking account of the breakdown, violence and corruption which strike at the heart of the university, never before known in its history; confronted by the flight of the minister from his responsibilities, and by the gravity of the situation, we call on the prime minister to intervene rapidly to save the university from collapse, by taking radical decisions to contribute to the reestablishment of university stability and avoidance of a dangerous downward spiral,” said the CNES.

“The murder of a university colleague is the inevitable consequence of the ministry’s silence and the impunity which has favoured those responsible for the manifestation of the gangsters who attacked teachers at the University of Algiers III in February,” said the CNES.

Karaoui’s fellow teachers at Université Djilali Bounaama Khemis Miliana denounced the ‘despicable’ act and called for the preservation of the university from all manner of violence, reported the Algérie Presse Service.

One of them, Yahiaoui Saïd, a lecturer in the faculty of legal sciences, said the murder must alert the university community, and also society as a whole, to the need to preserve universities from violence and fight the scourge with necessary vigour.

“The crime was admittedly not carried out within the university, but that does not lessen its cruelty,” he said. “What hurts is that the victim, a university teacher, and the perpetrators, two students, are members of the university world.”

The university’s rector Mohammed Bizzina stressed the loss not only to his own university but to the national university community, and the need to halt violence in the university environment.

Higher education unions condemned the murder as ‘abominable’ and ‘cowardly', reported APS.

Abdelhafid Mellat of CNES said the ministry responsible had been warned about violence within universities and had been called upon to intervene urgently to stop the danger.

On a visit to the University Center Morsli Abdellah of Tipaza after the murder, the Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Tahar Hadjar called on the university community to confront all kinds of violence within it, and to consider itself as an incubator for the elite and a model for society, reported La Tribune of Algiers.

But while he said it was essential to increase efforts in dealing with violence, he tempered his words, saying it was not true to say violence was omnipresent in the university community.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.