By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: Two Ain Shams University law students were prevented from taking their second mid-year exam on Sunday — despite having obtained a court order permitting them to complete the exams — as a penalty for distributing flyers on campus that called for political change and reform.
“We will file lawsuits calling for an adequate compensation for the harm that has been inflicted on the students due to the university’s actions,” Ahmed Ezzat, a lawyer for the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression who is representing the students, told Daily News Egypt. “This proves that Ain Shams University is the worst university [in Cairo].”
The students said they were also forcibly prevented from taking their first examination on Thursday.
“The vice dean of the Faculty of Law for graduate studies came in shortly after we entered the examination room and told us to leave,” law student and April 6 Youth Movement member Mostafa Fouad told Daily News Egypt. “He tried to take our university ID cards … but when we refused, the police beat us.”
Fouad added that the university filed a complaint against the students, claiming that the students beat the police rather than the other way around.
The three students staged a sit-in in front of the Prosecutor General’s office on Saturday, demanding that the court’s orders be implemented.
“I have flunked the two subjects,” said Fouad. “It’s done. But I’ll try to take all the legal procedures I can to get my rights back.”
In December, the Administrative Court issued a verdict that favored the three students, permitting them to take their exams from Jan. 13 and onward despite a penalty imposed upon them by the university to prevent them from taking their exams for two subjects.
Moataz El Sayed, one of the three students involved in the sit-in, stated that he was beaten and prevented from taking his first examination on Thursday.
However, El Sayed was then permitted by the university to take his second exam. His two colleagues — despite both having faced the same charges and penalties as El Sayed — did not receive any university permission to complete their examinations.
“I don’t understand why they let me take the second exam today and yet forced my colleagues outside the examination room,” El Sayed told Daily News Egypt.
Ezzat agreed stating that the occurrence was “an enigma.”
Fouad speculated that the university allowed El Sayed to take his second examination in order to cover itself. According to Fouad, the university may have permitted El Sayed to take the exam so that its representatives could truthfully claim that the university allowed a student to take an exam should the university need to defend its actions in future discussions.
Khaled Abdel Rahman, the dean of the Faculty of Law at Ain Shams University, told Daily News Egypt that all the students were allowed to take their exams on Sunday.
“We respect all court orders and execute them,” Abdel Rahman stated.
Magdy Youssif, an Ain Shams University Faculty of Science student, was also prevented from taking his mid-year exams last week despite receiving a similar favorable court verdict after the university attempted to deprive him from taking his exams after he too distributed flyers on campus.
The flyers that the students distributed had called for amending the constitution, expelling the police from campus, and for improving the students’ education and resources.