Cairo University Engineering students strike on Saturday over killed colleague

Ahram Online , Thursday 5 Dec 2013

Student group calls for Interior Minister to face trial, resignation of Minister of Higher Education; rebukes claim from general prosecutor that slain student, Mohamed Reda, shot dead by fellow protesters

Relatives and friends carry the coffin of Mohamed Reda,
Relatives and friends carry the coffin of Mohamed Reda, a first-year student in the faculty of engineering, during his funeral service at Al Sayyida Nafisa mosque in Cairo November 29, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Engineering students from Cairo University have announced the start of an open strike from this Saturday until those responsible for the death of fellow student Mohamed Reda are brought to justice.

The students called for Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim to face trial. They also called for the resignation of the Minister of Higher Education, Hossam Eissa. Security forces from Nahda Square, former site of a pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in and not far from Cairo University, were also included in the students' accusations.

In a press conference held at the university's Faculty of Engineering on Thursday, the students refuted the general prosecutor's recent statement which said that Reda had been shot dead by his fellow protesters and not security forces.

Eyewitnesses testified at the press conference that they had all seen security forces shoot Reda during the clashes on the university campus last Thursday.

Sharif Murad, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, explained at the press conference that more than 100 student testimonies had been gathered and that 40 of them had been submitted to the General Attorney on Thursday.

Murad added that the faculty had submitted a request to the university's head, demanding the withdrawal of security forces from campus, along with the release of detained students.

Cairo University has formally accused security forces for the student's death.

Eissa, Minister of Higher Education, has defended the security forces present at the scene that day, saying that students affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood shot and killed Reda.

The students have also demanded the immediate release of those detained in the clashes, as well as government compensation for students injured by security forces. Furthermore, they called for an end to the newly instated protest law, which requires demonstrators to submit plans to authorities prior to any public gathering.

The open strike and sit-in is yet another escalation in a turbulent week of student protests across the country.

Classes at Cairo University remained suspended as of Thursday.

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