Cairo University students demand justice for slain colleague

Ahram Online, Saturday 4 Jan 2014

Students form human chains to call for justice for Mohamed Reda who was killed in clashes with police at the university in November

Mohamed Reda
Mohamed Reda, a first-year engineering student (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Dozens of engineering students from Cairo University formed a human chain on Saturday in front of the university's main entrance to honour a student who died in clashes with police in November, Al-Ahram’s Arabic website reported.

Mohamed Reda, a first-year engineering student, died on 28 November after he succumbed to injuries from birdshots amid campus clashes with security forces.

The students held banners reading "never trust the interior ministry," "terrorism was outside campus" and "Reda died on campus."

The student protesters demanded a fair investigation into the killing of Reda and called for the cancellation of a recently issued protest law that places heavy restrictions on demonstrations. They also called for the sacking of higher education minister Hossam Eissa.

Cairo University administration issued a statement following Reda's death holding the security forces and interior ministry responsible for his death.

The statement announced that the university was documenting "the [on-campus] attack" against its students with photographs, video clips and student testimonies to follow up on the matter with a legal team.

However, the Ministry of Interior denied its officers were responsible for Reda's death and charged that other students might have shot him during the clashes.

A student from the same faculty was referred to a disciplinary committee for investigation on Saturday, after entering a university examination hall wearing a sign taped to his back reading “Mohamed Reda died on campus."

The dean of the engineering faculty, Sherif Mourad, commented to Al-Ahram Arabic that an examination room is “not the place to express political opinions.”

The student will continue with the rest of his examinations until a committee looking into his case decides how to proceed.

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