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Protests continue on Al-Azhar University's Cairo and Assiut campuses

Pro-Muslim Brotherhood students maintain their protests at Al-Azhar University as the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy praises their role in the 'Week of Rage'

Ahram Online, Monday 30 Dec 2013
Al-Azhar University students
Al-Azhar University students supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Morsi protesting at the university's gates in Cairo December 30, 2013 (Photo: Mohamed Abdo)
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For the third consecutive day, pro-Muslim Brotherhood students at Al-Azhar University continue to attempt the disruption of semester exams with protests demanding the release of their detained colleagues.

Approximately 100 students temporarily blocked off the road outside the Nasr City campus to protest against the detainment of their fellow students, until police succeeded to open it once more to traffic.

In a statement on Monday, the Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy urged supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi, including students, to proceed with the so-called "Week of Rage" and thereby support all protests taking place "in universities, factories and prisons."

The statement also asserted that the revolution begun on 25 January 2011 is ongoing, and that the alliance "is very proud of the success of the student movement and encourages them to continue their protests."

In an attempt to prevent the students from enforcing a boycott on exams taking place Monday at the Faculty of Engineering on the female campus, security forces surrounded the building from the inside to control the sit-in staged by Brotherhood supporters.

Students hurled wooden chairs at security forces while chanting slogans such as "We won't take exams; free the detained students."

Meanwhile, pro-Brotherhood Al-Azhar students on the Assiut campus in Upper Egypt attempted to prevent their colleagues in the Faculty of Science, for the second successive day, from sitting for the exams scheduled to take place on Monday, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

The faculty gates, chained shut by the student protesters, were only reopened to allow others to sit for their exams after the university administration won negotiations with the pro-Brotherhood students, the same source added.

Security forces on Sunday detained 27 pro-Brotherhood Al-Azhar University students who have been involved in the unrest seeking to mar exams since Saturday. 

Dozens of Al-Azhar students were detained in earlier clashes with security forces on charges of rioting, spreading chaos, violations against security forces, destruction of public property and resisting arrest.

Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, Al-Azhar University deputy president, said on Sunday exams took place as scheduled in 13 faculties out of 15; only the Science and the Law faculties were forced to reschedule due to disruptions.

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