Student groups demand colleagues’ release as second semester begins
Supreme Council of Universities - YOUM7
By WAEL RABEI and HANI MOHAMED

CAIRO: Student movements and unions continue to demand that authorities immediately release their fellow students, calling for investigations with officials responsible for their torture inside prisons, according to a press statement signed by 20 different groups released on Wednesday.

While pursuing their fight against the violations exercised by authorities, students’ demands extend further to include their rejection of the protocol that allows security officers from the Ministry of Interior to be present by university gates so that they may interfere in case any violence erupts inside universities.

“The protocol which was recently signed between the ministries of education and interior [approved by court on Feb. 24] allowing the police to besiege universities must be cancelled, as well as arbitrary practices against students by administrations,” the statement said.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim refused to allow the release of students whom were proven to be involved in violent acts according to criminal investigations, but admitted that several were caught randomly amid arrests, and should be released shortly if confirmed innocent, Mohamed Badra, the president of the Egyptian Student Union stated to MBC Channel on March 2.

The statement was also referring to the suspension of some students, mostly from Al-Azhar University and Cairo University, allegedly accused of being involved in violent protests in a series of clashes with security forces during the first semester.

Student forces called for an amendment to policies giving such authorization in decision-making to university presidents. On a third note, students expressed their disapproval of the recently hired Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wael el-Degwy, fearing the reinforcement of repression and administrative arbitrariness.

Second semester classes are scheduled to resume on March 8, but the students assured they will keep pressuring for students’ rights such as the end of their referral to disciplinary councils and investigations into their actions.

The statement was issued by students from political parties with various affiliations, and student unions from universities in different Egyptian governorates.

Originally published in Youm7.

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