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Cairo University students continue sit-in for second day

Engineering students suspend studies in protest of colleague's killing and the authorities' failure to hold culprits accountable

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Dec 2013
Cairo University
Students put up tents in front of Faculty of Engineering headquarters, Cairo University, Sunday, December 8, 2013 (Photo:Ahram Arabic news website)
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Cairo University students continued their open-ended sit-in for the second day on Sunday,  demanding justice for a fellow student allegedly killed by police 10 days ago.

Mohamed Reda, 19, was shot dead during clashes with security forces as students protested against harsh jail sentences handed out to female supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Tents were pitched on Sunday near the offices for the Faculty of Engineering, the same faculty in which Reda had been studying, while other student groups roamed the campus holding photos of Reda and shouting anti-police slogans, Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

Banners condemning the killing --  declaring a time of "mourning" and that "police are thugs" -- were hung up the faculty's walls, and graffiti was painted nearby to commemorate three other students killed in recent violence.

The on-campus strike began on Saturday and will not end, the students say, until those responsible for the deaths are brought to justice.

University head Gaber Nassar said security forces had stormed the campus and used tear gas and birdshot against the student demonstrators, an accusation denied by the Interior Ministry, the governmental body responsible for the country's police.

A recent statement by the general prosecutor's office claimed Reda had been shot dead by protesting fellow students who used a type of birdshot gun not available to the campus's security forces.

Student activists rebuked the statement, calling it a "fabrication."

Reda's death has sparked outrage amongst students, prompting thousands to protest across several universities in Cairo and elsewhere against the heavy-handed tactics used by police.

Egypt has been rocked by violent tumult since the army's July ouster of Morsi, after millions protested against the Islamist president's troubled year in power.

More than 1,000 people have since been killed in street clashes that have largely pitted Islamists against both their political opponents and security forces.

 

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