Ain Shams University officially bans campus political activity
Ain-Shams university - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Ain Shams University has adopted new measures to ban any political activity or demonstrations during the upcoming academic year, Youm7 reported Wednesday.

University President Hassan Essa announced that they will not allow anyone to stage a repeat of last year’s wave of demonstrations and protests.

“We will have surveillance cameras along with armored gates, and we will increase the number of security forces to keep monitoring anything that would take place inside the university,” Essa said.

A statement released by the university administration Wednesday said they had also reached “non-security solutions” to control the demonstrations, including conducting regular meetings between new students and faculty members to emphasize the importance of dialogue between the two parties.

Essa said in the released statement that they believe every student has the right to peaceful expression so long as they abstain from any acts of sabotage aimed at destabilizing the education process.

“The university is not a place for achieving any political party’s goals. No similar activities will be allowed, including all kinds of protests and demonstrations,” he said.

Ain Shams’ protest ban follows those of Cairo and Al-Azhar Universities, which experienced unrest last year following the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins.

Minister of Higher Education Sayyed Abdel Khaleq said during a meeting earlier in August that the next academic year will witness major changes concerning the priorities of student activists due to last year’s events.

He said the ban on political activities and agendas is to maintain security on university campuses and the stability of the education process.

Abdel Khaleq’s decision was condemned by NGOs, as the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued a statement following it describing the move as a “severe violation of human rights and freedom of expression and a way of undermining students’ political participation.”

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