NASL calls for university protests at beginning of academic year
A demonstrator burns a poster of Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: A Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group has called on students in the first week of the academic year to conduct demonstrations and burn photos of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) issued a statement Thursday calling on students who support former President Mohamed Morsi to start a political movement and raise photos of the military-ousted leader everywhere inside universities.

The statement described students as “knights of the revolution,” and called on them to do as much as they can to “preserve gains made last year.”

As the new academic year begins, many universities have banned any political activity on their campuses and hired private security companies to enforce the ban.

Minister of Higher Education Sayed Abdel Khaleq said during a meeting last August that the next academic year will witness major changes concerning the priorities of student activists due to last year’s events. He was referring to clashes between students and security forces at political protests, and said a ban on political activities and agendas is necessary to maintain security on university campuses and the “stability of the education process.”

Cairo University and Al-Azhar University were the first to follow the minister’s orders, and said they would not allow any kind of demonstration that could lead to clashes or riots.

Ain Shams University has also adopted new measures to ban political activity and demonstrations, according to Youm7 on Oct. 1.

Ain Shams University President Hassan Essa announced 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.

Maj. Gen. Medhat Minshawi, the Interior Ministry’s special operations deputy, told Youm7 Friday that they will apply “all possible means” to ensure universities are secure and confront “outlaws.” “Let’s see who will try to disturb studies,” Minshawi said.

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