Returning students call for release of parents held in Sudan
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CAIRO: Six parents of Egyptian students are still held in custody in Sudan over charges of leaking and selling high school exams, Youm7 quoted students recently released after facing the same accusations.

Sudanese authorities agreed to release 26 Egyptian students after negotiations with Egyptian counterparts, while barring them from sitting this year’s exams.

Returning student Mohamed Gomaa told Youm7 Tuesday that he called for the release of the parents who were detained “only for asking about the whereabouts of their children,” who were reportedly taken from outside schools and from homes last month.

Another student, Mohamed Mostafa, denied the accusations against them, and demanded he be able to take his remaining exams at the Sudanese embassy in Cairo.

Immigration Minister Nabila Makram was set to meet with the families of two parents from Delta’s Kafr el-Sheikh governorate, but her visit has been cancelled indefinitely, according to Youm7. However, the governorate assured in a statement that discussions with the Sudanese police are underway to release them soon.

Makram, who was leading the negotiations from Khartoum, explained in TV statements last week that some of the students were accused of cheating via hidden headphones through which family members told them the answers, while others were accused of collaborating with Jordanian students, who directed a “cell” to sell exams for $1,500- $5,000.

She added that Whatsapp calls and messages were taken as evidences against the students, adding that such charges are enrolled under “national security issues” in the African neighbor country.

Makram also said that she was able to confirm that some of the detained Egyptians students carried forged graduation certificates.

Last month, The Cairo Post spoke with Mohamed Helmy, the uncle of one of the detained student who said that he and other relatives did not know the whereabouts of the students for at least a week. He also added that at least 22 of the detained students come from Kafr el-Sheikh governorate

Over the past years, hundreds of students, originally from the Delta’s governorate, have sought to obtain their high school degree from Sudan, due to a popular belief they could get higher scores that would enable them to enroll at top faculties.

However, the practice has been identified by the Ministry of Higher Education, which promised to control this violation after discovering that many of those with Sudanese high school degrees applying for university had already received a degree from Egypt, according to a last year interview on Dar Akhbar el-Youm with the Minister of Higher Education Ashraf el-Shehy.

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