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Anti Coup Alliance calls for ‘student freedom’ protests

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Alliance urges all Egyptians to support “torrential student uprising”

Student supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrate outside Al-Azhar university in Cairo on 28 October  (AFP/ File Photo)

Student supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrate outside Al-Azhar university in Cairo on 28 October
(AFP/ File Photo)

The Anti-Coup Alliance called for a “thunderous million-man march” on Tuesday in support of students’ freedom.

In a Sunday statement, the group said it was “the duty of Egyptians to offer their support to the torrential student uprising” occupying Egypt’s universities, and called for the release of all student detainees preventively held in custody.

The alliance, also known as the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy, includes a number of political movements that support ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

“The students’ movement is Egypt’s beating heart,” the statement read. “It represents a thermometre for Egyptians’ aspirations and pains.”

The Anti-Coup Alliance said that “freeing universities of security control” was one of the 2011 revolution’s primary gains.

In September, the cabinet denied that the Ministry of Justice had issued a decision deputising a number of administrative university security personnel to arrest students, describing news of the decision as “unfounded”.

The Anti-Coup Alliance was among the parties promoting such claims, and said the authorities had only failed “due to the [active] mobilisation of [protesting] students”.

“In the past two months, students represented heroism, strength, nationalism, political and revolutionary maturity which Egypt will remain proud of,” the statement read. The alliance added that the “military coup”, on the other hand, practiced oppression and attacked university campuses.

The alliance stated that the ruling authorities had killed students and quelled protests inside university campus, arresting “thousands” of students and university professors. It added that such acts violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which Egypt ratified.

The Anti-Coup Alliance accused the public prosecution of “politicising” cases and coordinating with the Ministry of Interior. The alliance said that 43 Al-Azhar University students will face trial at the Nasr City Misdemeanour Court on Wednesday, adding that the defendants were randomly arrested from university.

Ten days ago, the Public Prosecution authorised police forces to enter Al-Azhar University’s campus upon the request of university chairman Osama Al-Abd. The request came after a group of students broke in to the university’s administrative building. At the time, the Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of 26 people, 14 of whom were not students at the university.

After the incident, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi announced that police forces would be present at university gates to help maintain security. El-Beblawi’s cabinet gave university presidents the right to request the entry of police forces into campus in case of “threats to individuals, entities and students”.

Until 2009, the Ministry of Interior was responsible for providing Homeland Security personnel to secure universities. In 2009, the Administrative Court banned this decision, establishing an “administrative” university security. The decision did not go into effect until the 2011 revolution.


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