Egyptian police on alert ahead of students protest

Ahram Online, Tuesday 22 Apr 2014

Students are protesting against former minister of defence Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and early exams

Students Protest
Archived Photo of students protesting (Photo:Al-Ahram)

Security forces closed roads surrounding the defence ministry early Tuesday as demonstrations organised by Cairo's Ain Shams University are scheduled to kick off.

The students reportedly marched on campus to protest the presidential candidacy of ex-army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is believed by supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi as being the architect of his ouster last July.

El-Sisi, who announced Morsi's ouster amid mass protests denouncing the troubled-one year rule of the Islamist president is widely expected to win the upcoming presidential election race which will take place in late May.

Demonstrators are also denouncing a recent university decision to advance the date of exams, as clashes continue to erupt between protesting students and security forces on university campuses nationwide.

Egypt's second post-revolution presidential elections are set to take place on 26 and 27 May with a new president expected to be inaugurated around late June.

Meanwhile Al-Azhar University, the site of the most violent on-campus clashes, also witnessed an anti-Sisi demonstration.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, the protest organised by the pro-Morsi coalition, 'students against the coup', also expressed their anger with the administration's decision to hold the exams earlier than scheduled.

The spring semester at public Egyptian universities and schools have started more than a month after the scheduled date this year.

The decision was influenced by the fear of continued protests and on-campus violence that started at the beginning of the 2013 academic year, along with a swine flu outbreak.

Since Morsi's ouster and amid a heavy crackdown on his loyalists, Egyptian universities have been the site of numerous protests with clashes often breaking out between security forces and students loyal to the Islamist president. Hundreds have been arrested and several killed in the unrest.

Fears of a spike in violence arose following the explosion of three bombs at Cairo University.


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