Pro-MB groups call for ‘revolutionary siege’ against university staff
Demonstrations of Muslim Brotherhood supporters - YOUM7 (Archive)
By AYA SAMIR

CAIRO: The pro-Muslim Brotherhood groups “Revolution’s Board of Trustees” and the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy have called on university students to “besiege and trap” university presidents and faculty members who support the use of private security officers on university campuses.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, the groups said such private security firms “threaten students.”

“Today, the students fought back against the coup, who bought and sold our country and killed its sons,” the statement said.

They called in the statement for a “social, economic and revolutionary siege” against faculty members, the Commercial International Bank (CIP), businesses belonging to businessman and sometime politician Naguib Sawiris and companies that own shares in the Falcon security company that has been contracted to provide security on campuses.

Falcon was hired in response to campus riots last year, especially at Cairo and Al-Azhar Universities, shortly after the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins.

Government police forces are by law not actually allowed on university campuses. Following last year’s campus protests, many universities adopted measures banning all student and faculty demonstrations on school property. This followed a directive issued by the Ministry of Higher Education.

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

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

Groups calling for ‘siege’ already banned

The latest demands by NASL, which has been active since shortly after the events of June 30, 2013, are not generally expected to have wide effect. Prime Minster Ibrahim Mahlab ordered Wednesday a ban on all the group’s activities.

Following the first day of the academic year on Oct. 11, many demonstrations broke out at universities despite high security measures. Large numbers of electronic gates were destroyed by protesters, and following the retreat of some security guards, students bragged online about seizing some of their equipment.

However, security forces have remained staunch in their rhetoric, promising to punish those who demonstrate. Maj. Gen. Medhat Minshawi, the Interior Ministry’s special operations deputy, told Youm7 Oct. 10 that he would 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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