Film students escalate strike against detention of their colleague

Menna Taher, Thursday 6 Oct 2011

High Institute of Cinema students launch a sit-in as they step up calls for their classmate Fady Mostafa Said El-Sawy to be freed from military detention

Students at Cairo's High Institute of Cinema spent the night in its grounds yesterday, marking the start of a sit-in to demand the release of their friend and colleague Fady Mostafa Said El-Sawy.

The sit-in is an escalation of a strike started by students on 2 October, the first day of classes, The protesting students are contemplating more drastic measures after Fady’s case was adjourned for 15 days, the third time this has happened since he was detained.

Fady was detained on 9 September, the day the Israeli embassy was stormed by protesters. He was taken randomly while standing near the police headquarters in Giza and the Israeli embassy and faces several charges, including carrying explosives and violating a public institution.

The director Aly Badrakhan and cinematographer Thabet Madkour, a professor at the Institute, joined the strike in solidarity with the students' cause.

“If our demands are not met then we will start a hunger strike,” said Aya El-Adl, coordinator of the sit-in.

Members of the Cinema Syndicate have also joined in the strike. Tomorrow, Friday 7 October, the students will gather in Tahrir Square with the families of the other detainees from 9 September.

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