Cairo University SU to ask Egypt PM for release of 1,321 students

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Mar 2014

On Wednesday, Ibrahim Mahlab was to meet with student union leaders asking for 1,321 students detained in protests to be released

Protesters shout slogans against the military and interior ministry, while gesturing with four fingers in front of riot police after blocking Al Nasr street in front of Al-Azhar University headquarters at Cairo's Nasr City district, November 19, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

A group from Cairo University Student Union will meet Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to ask for the release of 1,321 detained students, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The student group will ask Mahlab to free all students who did not take part in violent clashes.

The list includes students from different universities around the country, and many female students.  

Earlier this month Giza's prosecution ordered the release of 29 students who were detained while protesting on 25 January, marking the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim met last week with representatives from the Egyptian Student Union (ESU) who asked him to release the detained students.

ESU head Mohamed Badran said Ibrahim had promised to release those students "not involved in any criminal activity."

Prosecutors also released last week 20 Al-Azhar University students arrested during clashes last year between pro-Muslim Brotherhood students and security forces on the university's Cairo campus.

Tens of other detained students were also released in the past weeks.

In January, interim President Adly Mansour asked the prosecutor-general's office to hasten the release of all detained university students not involved in illegal activities.

The ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and the deadly dispersal of two sit-ins demanding his return in August prompted supporters of Morsi including students to protest against what they see as a coup against an elected president.

The student protests often turned violent with pro-Morsi students vandalising some university buildings in a number of incidents and torching police vehicles, and security forces used teargas and birdshots to disperse demonstrators.

At least four students were killed during campus protests.

Meanwhile, university students across Egypt returned to campuses last Saturday, a starting date twice delayed as the ministries of higher education and interior scrambled to make security arrangements to prevent a repeat of last semester’s university-related violence.

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