Clashes erupted Wednesday between students affiliated with the group Students Against the Coup and security forces during protests at a number of universities, including Al-Azhar, Alexandria, Cairo, and Beni Suef.
Two students died of fatal birdshot wounds at Beni Suef University after the protesting students took the protest off campus, according to the student observatory of the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
Several student sources reported large numbers of injured students due to the use of tear gas and birdshot by security forces. Two eye injuries of female students were reported at Cairo University.
According to the female student coordinator at Cairo University, known as Maria, the students were outraged because the Grand Mufti confirmed a death sentence for Mansoura student Ibrahim Azab Wednesday.
SAC Spokesman Youssof Salhen mentioned that the group held protests in nationwide universities with the aim of “peaceful escalation” through taking the protests off campuses. Salhen claimed that security forces had stormed the campuses of Alexandria and Al-Azhar Universities during Wednesday’s clashes.
Salhen said the aim of the protests are a “sign of rejection of the oppression against students, [including] imprisonment and harsh court verdicts, [and] the new security measures in some universities that make students feel imprisoned.”
The clashes are the first to take place since the second academic term started on 8 March. The Supreme Council of Universities signed in February a protocol with the Ministry of Interior to secure university campuses, authorising security forces to be present outside universities and only interfere on campuses with the permission of university chairmen.
Ministry of Interior Spokesman General Hany Abdel Latif meanwhile said that “the situation in universities is calm.”
Abdel Latif added that in Beni Suief “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood” tried to cut off the railway, leading to clashes with the residents of the area. Security forces interfered, dispersed the rioters and arrested 12.