Cairo University student movement receives warning of protest dispersal

Ahram Online, Saturday 7 Dec 2013

Students planning a protest at Cairo University on Saturday night call on faculty members and administrators to join sit-in demanding retribution for slain engineering student Mohamed Reda

Engineering students at Cairo University prepare for a sit-in on the university campus (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic news website)

Cairo University Engineering Revolutionary Movement announced via Facebook that they received warning that their sit-in on Saturday night would be dispersed by security forces.

"We call on faculty members to join us. Any danger that the protesting students might be exposed to will be the responsibility of Faculty Dean Sherif Mourad and University President Gaber Nassar," the statement announced.

A student sit-in on Cairo University's Engineering Faculty campus was called for by the movement and the Student Union on Saturday to demand that those responsible for killing their colleague Mohamed Reda will be held accountable.

Engineering Faculty Dean Sherif Mourad told Ahram's Arabic news site earlier on Saturday that no one would interfere with the planned sit-in, adding that the security presence on campus aims only to prevent vandalism.

Reda was killed on 27 November by bird-shot fire during clashes between students and security forces on the Cairo University campus. According to University President Nassar, security forces stormed the campus using tear gas and bird-shots against students.

The Interior Ministry denied using excessive force or bird-shots against the students.

On Monday, the prosecutor general's office announced that Reda was shot dead by other protesters, who used bird-shot guns not owned by security forces.

Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering Student Union released a statement on the same day in response, which described the prosecution's report as "lying" and "a fabrication," and vowed not to allow the slain student's killers to away with their violent behavior.

Hundreds of students, mostly supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, have been detained in recent weeks as police continue a four-month-long crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On 21 November, another pro-Morsi student was shot dead during clashes with security forces at Al-Azhar University.

Police officials deny using anything other than water cannons and teargas to disperse student protests.

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