Police on Egyptian campuses only upon university request: Minister

Ahram Online , Monday 10 Mar 2014

Egypt's higher education minister asserts that police will only enter campuses at the behest of university presidents

Cairo Uni Clashes
A car belonging to the media burns during a protest by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi inside Cairo University, in Cairo, March 9, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Minister of Higher Education Wael El-Degwy stated on Monday that police will not enter campuses unless requested to by university presidents, assuring that only administrative security guards will be stationed inside.

A recent controversial court ruling allowing police back on campuses despite a previous court ban in 2010 has fuelled fears among some of security forces being allowed freer rein on university grounds.

Unlike the 2010 ruling issued by a senior administrative  court the current ruling is arguably weak, yet students and professors feared it may nevertheless be used as a pretext for police to enter campuses without permission.

Egyptian universities finally opened their gates for the spring semester on Saturday, twice delayed as security forces and the Ministry of Higher Education prepared to face the precarious security situation that had marred the academic year so far.

Near daily protests by student supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi had often escalated into clashes with police throughout the entire first semester, during which at least seven students we killed and hundreds of others rounded up across Egypt.

Four Cairo University students were arrested outside campus on Sunday after being accused of torching a news broadcasting truck.

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