Student protesters gather outside the main gate of Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)
Egypt's main Islamist alliance, the Pro-Legitimacy and Anti-Coup Coalition, has called on its supporters to take to the streets on Friday in solidarity with protesting university students angered by the killing of their peers during clashes with security forces.
Referring to the country’s current interim authorities, the coalition said Thursday in a statement that the students “once again crushed the illusions of those who dreamt of reaching Egypt’s throne with ammunitions, by giving the revolution a new push with [their] creative bravery, determination and peacefulness.”
Since the beginning of the academic year in September, Egyptian universities have been at the heart of the unrest gripping the country since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted early July. Pro-Morsi students have organised near-daily protests to call for his reinstatement and denounce the arrest of fellow students in similar demonstrations.
Student protests have largely ended in clashes with security forces since a government decree issued in November granted police access to university campuses without prior permission. Police had previously been barred from accessing campuses unless invited by university authorities.
Lately, students have been angered over the death of one of their peers, 19-year-old Mohamed Reda enrolled at the faculty of engineering, who was shot dead in November during clashes with security forces following a student protest near Cairo University.
Also in November, a pro-Morsi student was shot dead during clashes with security forces at Al-Azhar University, the prestigious seat of Sunni Islam education that has been at the heart of the student unrest. A misdemeanour court sentenced 12 of the university's students to 17 years in prison over previous riots.