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Brotherhood students demand investigation into assaults

Students affiliated with Egypt's largest Islamist group call for new security measures at university campuses, investigation into recent violence and food poisoning incident

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Apr 2013
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Muslim Brotherhood students have issued a statement demanding the formation of a fact-finding committee by the ministry of education to discover who was responsible for recent violence on university campuses.

The statement, published on Sunday, also demanded a full investigation into the mass food poisoning incident at Al-Azhar University where 500 students were hospitalised after eating at the campus cafeteria.

Several recent deaths on campuses should be investigated and new security measures should be established to protect students, the statement added.

Last week, 'thugs' attacked Ain Shams University students marching from Cairo's Nour Mosque to demand tighter campus security and an end to 'thuggery'. This followed several previous attacks by unknown assailants.

The statement went on to demand better food and medical services on campuses, a reduction in the price of academic textbooks and the "true" enforcement free education by exempting poor students from fees.

“There must be a new bylaw that grants us the right to engage in student activities and express our views,” read the statement.

In addition, the statement demanded the higher education minister recruitment two assistants and a committee be formed to work with the student union to solve the problems faced by students.

Hundreds of students took part in nationwide protests on Sunday to demand the dismissal of the higher education minister over the deteriorating state of education and student services.

The protests were endorsed by several opposition groups, including the Revolutionary Socialists, the Strong Egypt Party and the Egyptian Popular Current.

The Muslim Brotherhood told Ahram Online that it did not participate in the protests because it was not invited to take part in the preparations.

Disputes between Brotherhood students and non-Islamists intensified after a number of student unions, including at Cairo and Ain Shams universities, claimed Brotherhood-affiliated students had damaged ballot boxes during an Egyptian Student Union poll.

Muslim Brotherhood students denied the claims.

An independent candidate was recently elected president of the Egyptian Student Union, which had long been dominated by the Brotherhood.

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