CAIRO: The Cairo Misdemeanor Court Wednesday sentenced four Al-Azhar University students to four years in prison on charges they participated in violent clashes at the university last January.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression said in a statement that the verdict was issued without meeting any of the lawyers’ requests, which included listening to eyewitnesses and entering into evidence sworn statements saying the students were taking tests at the time of the protests and therefore not involved.
The detained students were charged with resisting security forces, crowding and bullying.
Earlier Wednesday, Attorney General Hisham Barakat ordered the release of 116 students detained over violent clashes across Egypt in a move he said was “protecting their academic future.”
The Freedom for the Brave Facebook page posted that one of the sentenced students is Yaseen Sabry, who was arrested while he was on his way to a chemistry exam on Jan. 16.
It was added that Yaseen is a member of the Misr Al-Qawia Party and Tamarod.
“When Yaseen was arrested they only found him with a book by Naguib Mahfouz and a sticker for the Road of Revolution Front,” Freedom for Brave said.
Al-Azhar amended its rules Wednesday to include disciplining faculty members if they participate in any demonstrations disruptive of classes.