Azhar student released after weeks of disappearance

Jihad Abaza
2 Min Read
Police forces frequently stormed Al-Azhar Girls University aiming to disperse protests (Photo from Student Against Coup Handout)

Female Al-Azhar student Aliaa Tarek was released on Thursday after being detained in an unknown place for over two weeks, the Al-Azhar University’s Student Union said in a statement.

Tarek is a freshman studying Islamic studies at Al-Azhar University.

The first-year student was arrested in front of the Al-Azhar campus along with two other female students and sent her mother a message informing her that she was in a security vehicle.

Tarek’s mother told Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel, which is often called out for pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias and opposing the current Egyptian regime, that her daughter called her from the street and asked that her mother come pick her up.

Her mother added that Tarek was beaten before her arrest, and although her daughter refuses to talk about what has happened to her during detention she sees torture marks on her body.

Tarek herself does not know where she had been detained.

According to a student union count at the end of October, a total of 88 Al-Azhar students have been arrested since the academic year began on 11 October.

Sixty of these students were arrested inside the university campus while the rest were arrested from their homes or in the streets next to their university. Twenty-nine of these students have been released while the rest remain detained until this moment.

Since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013, Egyptian security forces have undertaken a crackdown on students’ political activities in universities across the country.

Al-Azhar University has witnessed violent clashes between students and security forces since.

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Jihad Abaza is a journalist and photographer based in Cairo. Personal website:
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