Al-Azhar protesting students pause sit-in after alleged thuggery attacks on campus

Sherif Tarek , Thursday 3 Nov 2011

Students at Al-Azhar University have put on hold their sit-in after allegedly being attacked by thugs on campus

Azhar students
Azhar students hang placards on campus calling for the “purification” of the Azhar University (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Protesting students at Al-Azhar University have put on hold their sit-in after allegedly being attacked by thugs on campus, where they resided for over a week.

A number of Al-Azhar students staged a sit-in to call for the ousting of the university’s dean and other faculty heads, who were all appointed during the time of the toppled regime of Hosni Mubarak.

The students set up tents as their demands resounded on campus via amplifiers over the past days. They planned to continue the sit-in until their demands were met, but were forcibly dispersed when attacked by thugs, who somehow found a way in to the campus.

“They assaulted the students yesterday afternoon,” Sameh El-Arabi, a freshman student in the Faculty of Commerce and one of the protesters, told Ahram Online Wednesday.

“The thugs were wielding cudgels when they got onto the campus, and even inside the building where students spent their nights during the sit-in. Two of us were hospitalised and we are yet to know their respective conditions. After the assault, all students packed up their things and left.

“We are yet to come up with a solid plan about what we will do next, but generally, we should continue our sit-in after the feast (Eid Al-Adha).”

This reporter asked university security at the gate facing the building where the sit-in was staged what happened, but they coyly said no attacks had taken place.

Protesting students left a statement hung on the wall after the sit-in was postponed, promising to keep demonstrating until they achieve their demands.

“After last night’s unpleasant incidents that terrorised everyone and resulted in injuries to some of us, and due to the vacation of the blessed Sacrifice Eid, we decided to put on hold our sit-in until the vacation is over. We announce that we still hold tight to our demands.”

Many universities across the nation have witnessed similar demonstrations against university administrative figures put in place by the Mubarak regime.

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