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Ain Shams University students continue to strike Sunday

Faculty of engineering students boycott midterm exams, demanding the release of detained colleagues

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Nov 2013
AU strike
Photo from an exam hall in the faculty of engineering at Ain Shams Uni reads, 'A strike by order of the students' (Photo: Ain Shams University, faculty of engineering Students Union Facebook page)
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Students from the faculty of engineering at Ain Shams University continued to strike on Sunday for the third consecutive day, refusing to attend classes or midterm exams until their detained colleagues are released.

The faculty's student union has published daily photos of empty classrooms as a result of the strike action.

"The strike has so far been a success. On Friday, almost all students protested to the extent that the exams were officially cancelled," Radwa Yassin, a student union member told Ahram Online. 

The university initially denied there was a strike, insisting that midterms and classes were not boycotted by students. However, Yassin said that the administration had announced talks with students in order to reach an agreement.

Last Thursday, the student union at the faculty of engineering issued a formal statement declaring strike action from 22 November until the release of Tarek Hussein Abdel Galil and Hamza Hamada.

"The strike will commence on Friday in a legal and peaceful manner until the release of the detained students; stating opinion without clashes or violence," read the statement.

Abdel Galil was arrested during a rally, while student Hamza Hamada was arrested in a metro station on his way home, on accusations of sabotaging the station's activities, according to the statement.

"We don't care what their political affiliations are. They are students, and our colleagues, and we demand their release," Yassin said. 

"As well as the release of detained colleagues, our demands include the cancelling of exceptional governmental procedures, in accordance with the High Council of Universities, as the Ministry of Interior is becoming increasingly involved in universities," the student union statement added. 

The government legalised on Thursday the intervention of police forces on university campuses to deal with threats against buildings, staff and students, without the permission of individual administrations.

The statement from Ain Shams faculty of engineering also expressed condolences to students from Al-Azhar University and Cairo University for the death of their colleagues in clashes against security forces over the past few weeks.

A pro-Morsi student was killed during clashes with security forces at Al-Azhar Wednesday, when 16 students were also arrested.

On 19 November, faculty of engineering student Mahmoud Abdel Karim from Cairo University was killed in Tahrir Square during clashes marking the second anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud.

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