Al-Azhar University student protests rage on

Ahram Online, Monday 23 Dec 2013

Al-Azhar University campuses for male and female students both witness various forms of protests and intent to boycott mid-year examinations scheduled for 28 December

Azhar photo gallery big
Pictures of the Martyrs in front of the Faculty of commerce at Al-Azhar University (Courtesy of Al-Azhar Student Union Facebook Page)

Riots and unrest again reigned over Al-Azhar University Monday, as distinct groups of students expressed their anger over recent political developments.

Testifying to their intent to boycott university examinations scheduled to begin on 28 December, a number of female students – chiefly enrolled at the faculties of commerce and humanities – tore the lists indicating the seat numbers according to which student are to attend their exams. 

On the campus reserved for males, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering students chanted anti-military slogans during one of their oral examinations.

A post on the Al-Azhar Student Union Facebook page wrote that despite the university security's alleged use of water cannons to disperse their strike, the students will proceed in their protests "no matter what" until their demands are met. 

Among the demands is the release of all students detained during the clashes with security forces that repeatedly erupted over the past month as well as retribution for martyrs who lost their lives in the clashes.

By the Faculty of Commerce gates on the campus reserved for females, a number of students held a commemorative exhibition of their slain colleagues' photographs, also aiming to stress their boycott of exams and continued protests and strikes. 

Al-Azhar, among other universities, has witnessed numerous clashes since the new academic year was launched in October.

In November, a pro-Morsi Al-Azhar University student was shot dead during clashes with security forces.

Earlier in November, 12 Al-Azhar University students were sentenced to 17 years in prison over riots at Al-Azhar Institution which oversees the university. They were found guilty of attempting to storm the headquarters of the institution, inciting riots and attacking Al-Azhar employees and security personnel, as well as sabotaging public and private property.

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