CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi criticized student demonstrations that started at the beginning of the academic year, and said those who started them must take responsibility for their actions, according to comments published in Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz Monday.
“I assure you the majority of students just want to study and learn to contribute to building our country’s future,” Sisi said. “Only a few of them are intellectually deviant and extreme.”
He added that campus demonstrations are a “desperate attempt” to incite public opinion.
Demonstrations inside universities started at the beginning of the new academic year earlier this month, as a number of pro-Muslim Brotherhood groups called for marches against Sisi, raising images of former President Mohamed Morsi and Rabaa signs.
Despite heightened security and a decision taken by the Ministry of Higher Education to ban all political activities, the majority of Egyptian universities are facing unrest.
Some NGOs criticized the police forces involved in dispersing the demonstration, saying they used “excessive force.” Amnesty International released a statement Oct. 18 that said at least 35 students had been injured, and three were in critical condition.
About 150 students have so far been arrested during the clashes, and two security officers were injured, according to official figures.
In addition to campus demonstrations, Sisi in his Okaz interview also answered questions about attempts by some political currents—including the Muslim Brotherhood—to reenter social life.
He said Egyptians have been through a “deep experience” in the past three years, and they can now choose wisely and decide if they want them back or not.
“I just don’t think Egyptians would allow those who killed them once, or banned them from gaining their livelihoods, to come back again,” Sisi said.