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Pro-Morsi students to protest 'police intimidation'

'Students against the Coup' will on Sunday hold demonstrations against police deployments near campuses, arrest of student activists

Ahram Online, Sunday 10 Nov 2013
police on campus
Egyptian security forces inside Al-Azhar university in Cairo, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 (Photo: AP)

"Students against the Coup," a pro-Morsi group, will on Sunday stage protests against police deployments near university campuses and "attacks on freedom of expression."

At Al-Azhar University, students will gather at the Faculty of Commerce to condemn the referral of the faculty's student union president, his deputy and other students to a disciplinary council for investigation. The students were questioned after the university president was prevented by protesters from leaving his office during a protest last week. 

Students at Ain Shams University will protest "the university administration's attempts to terrorise students and suppress freedom of expression." 

At Cairo University, students will protest the recent arrest of fellow students. 

Students at Helwan University, on the outskirts of Cairo, will protest on Monday against the presence of police outside their campus gates, and the recent arrest and expulsion of students.

"Students against the Coup" issued a statement on Saturday stating it does recognise the "coup government" and calling for university administrations not to be used as political "tools."

Egypt's university campuses have been witnessing tense and sometimes violent demonstrations since September. Pro-Morsi students have been protesting against the interim government, saying the army staged a coup against the country's first freely-elected president when it deposed him in July amid mass protests against his rule.

Last week, police stormed the Al-Azhar University campus and fired tear gas to disperse student protesters. 

In late September, four students were expelled from Cairo University for "assaulting" former grand mufti Ali Gomaa, who was on campus for a thesis presentation.  Chaos broke out as pro-Morsi students shouted insults and expletives at the cleric and held up their shoes in a sign of disrespect. Gomaa left shortly afterwards.

Earlier in September, a proposal issued by the SCU to grant powers of arrest to university security guards stirred controversy. The interim cabinet sidestepped the proposal, which had sparked fears of a return to a policy of intimidating politically active students.

In 2010, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ruling removing police from university campuses, who were notorious for their heavy-handed tactics against students.



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