Egypt court upholds decision to redeploy police on campuses

Ahram Online, Tuesday 13 May 2014

The initial ruling was issued in February after a spike in student protests, mostly by Islamists

Cairo Uni Clashes
Protesting Cairo University students shout slogans against the military and interior ministry during a demonstration in front of riot police at the main gate of the university in Cairo, November 24, 2013 (Photo: Ahram)

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters upheld on Tuesday its earlier decision to permanently redeploy police forces on university campuses.

The initial ruling was issued in February following a spike in student protests, mostly held by Islamists, to denounce what they described as a military coup against president Mohamed Morsi, ousted last July.

The Tuesday conclusion mandates the Egyptian state to promptly implement the court's pronouncement.

According to activists, the decision contradicts a 2010 decree by the High Administrative Court -- the only body endowed with subject-matter jurisdiction over this case -- banning police from campuses.

Following the February ruling, Minister of Higher Education Wael El-Degwy had stated that police would only enter campuses if requested to by university presidents.

With the start of the second semester, security forces have frequently entered campuses -- especially in Al-Azhar University, the hub of Morsi supporters -- dispersing protests and arresting students.

On Sunday, a court sentenced 37 students to four years in prison for rioting, while, in March, 17 Al-Azhar students were handed 14 years for storming the university administration building during protests.

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