Human Rights Monitor demands release of 5 imprisoned female students
Locals break into the Faculty of Dentistry at Cairo Univerity - YOUM7/Hassan Mohamed

CAIRO: The Human Rights Monitor (HRM) NGO has called for the release of five women arrested during riots that broke out last year at Al-Azhar University, and said in a Monday statement the women had been mistreated.

The statement urged the Egyptian government to respect human rights agreements, provide medical care for detainees and compensate them for psychological and emotional damage.

The statement claimed that the five women were tortured in a police station, and that most of them were arrested randomly during the clashes that happened shortly after the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal.

The first student mentioned was Asmaa Hamdy, a 22-year-old dental student. Her family said her books were frequently stolen from her inside jail and she lost a year in dental faculty after her college refused to allow her to take exams while in prison.

The other women mentioned were Alaa Abdel Rahman, 19, Rofayda Ahmed, 22, Afaf Omar, 22, and Hanady Ahmed, 22.

All were arrested in December 2013, and tried in February 2014. They were sentenced to 5 years in jail and fined 100,000 EGP ($13,981).

Their sentence, however, was appealed earlier this year.

Despite measures being taken at the start of the new academic year on Oct. 11 to ban student demonstrations, many have occurred, and marches have been organized, including at Cairo, Al-Azhar, Ain Shams and Alexandria Universities.

The Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression said in a statement released Saturday that about 186 students have been arrested since the beginning of the new academic year from 19 different universities.

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