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17 Al-Azhar students get 4 years in jail for illegal protests

Egypt's prosecutor-general earlier released over 100 students on similar charges ahead of the start of the new academic year

Ahram Online, Wednesday 17 Sep 2014
Al-Azhar University clashes
Tear gas fired by riot police at protesters fills the air during clashes between riot police and students of Al-Azhar University, who support the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, outside the university's campus in Cairo's Nasr City district December 27, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Cairo's misdemeanor court has sentenced 17 Al-Azhar students to four years in jail on charges of organising an illegal protest.

The defendants were accused of illegally protesting and inciting violence at Al-Azhar University on 12 January of this year.

Among the 17 students sentenced, five are females.

The defence team plans to appeal the verdict.

Meanwhile, Egypt's prosecutor-general on Wednesday ordered the release of 116 students from different universities ahead of the start of the new academic year on 11 October.

Hundreds of students were arrested during the last academic year over protests against the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi and also over the detention of their colleagues by security forces.

Al-Azhar University – the oldest Islamic university in the world – saw some of the worst unrest among universities, with near daily protests often spiralling into violent confrontations with police.

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