Egypt's prosecutor-general releases 116 university students
El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Wednesday 17 Sep 2014
"To salvage their academic careers," students detained during on-campus protests have been set free before the start of the academic term

Egypt's prosecutor-general on Wednesday ordered the release of 116 detained university students ahead of the start of the new academic year.

The students are mainly from Al-Azhar, Ain Shams and Cairo universities and were arrested during protests during the last academic year that cumulatively left at least six students dead during clashes with the police.

The students were charged with gathering illegally, damaging public and private property, obstructing traffic, among other offences.

A judicial source who preferred to remain anonymous said that the release order was given for the sake of the students' educational future.

The source added that the prosecutor-general, Hisham Barakat, is reviewing other pending cases involving students who have been detained since March.

Egypt's universities were the scene of near-daily protests in the last academic year as students protested against the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi and the current authorities.

The demonstrations often descended into violent clashes with police, leaving several students killed and hundreds arrested.

Hundreds more were expelled or suspended from universities.

Al-Azhar University and Cairo University witnessed some of the worst violence, with the latter recently issuing a ban on all politically-affiliated groups on campus out of fears of a return of last year's unrest.

The new academic year is scheduled to begin on 11 October at public universities nationwide.