Police fire teargas at pro-Morsi students at Cairo University

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Mar 2014

Students are protesting a court order which allows police on campus

Cairo Uni Clashes
A car belonging to the media burns during a protest by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi inside Cairo University, in Cairo, March 9, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Police fired teargas at a student protest organised by a pro-Mohamed Morsi grouping at Cairo University on Sunday. 

The teargas was reportedly fired after a vehicle owned by TV channel CBC was torched. Like much of the Egyptian private and state media, CBC has taken a strongly anti-Morsi line in its coverage of Egyptian politics.

According to local human rights NGO the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, student marches left from the faculties of law, science and commerce and then headed outside the university’s main gates at the same moment that the CBC vehicle was being torched by another group of protesters.

According to the NGO, the protesting students retreated onto campus after the police fired teargas, declaring the end of the protest.

In response the police too withdrew, according to Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Sunday’s protest, which takes place on the second day of the delayed spring term, was called for by the pro-Morsi Students Against the Coup group, in protest at a recent court verdict that allows police to return to university campuses.

While security forces regularly entered campuses last term to face demonstrators, especially after a government decision allowing university heads to call in police when needed, the permanent presence of government security on campuses was removed after the 2011 revolution, when a 2010 court order banning police from universities was implemented.

The police presence had become associated with political interference in student and faculty affairs.

On Sunday, Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said that security forces would remain off campus unless violence or disruption to academic procedures occur.

The on-campus violence, along with a recent spike in cases of swine flu in Egypt, led to the postponement of the spring term several times. The term commenced on Saturday, two weeks after its original start date. 

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