By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: The Giza Prosecution Office released Friday three Cairo University students arrested the night before, after the university’s security withdrew the complaint against them, a rights group said.
Ramy Tarek, Mohab Saeed and Hatem Galal were arrested on charges of assaulting the university’s security, protesting and confining public figures inside the campus — University President Hossam Kamel and two ministers — according to the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression.
On Thursday, Cairo University students protested against the reactivation of a 1979 bylaw, which regulates student activity and association on campus. Referred to as “the state security bylaw,” it prohibits political activity inside the university, such as protests and distributing pamphlets.
“University security and students clashed on Thursday. Many people passed out and others were injured,” recalled Hala Safwat, a student at the faculty of sciences and a member of Revolutionary Socialists.
“Five students decided to file a complaint against the university’s security at the Giza Prosecution Office. When they arrived, they found out that a complaint has been filed against them by security,” she explained.
“The prosecution ordered the arrest of Ramy Tarek, Mohab Saeed, Hatem Galal. These are three key students in organizing the movements and protests inside the university,” she added.
The students were released Thursday night and went back Friday morning for questioning at the prosecution office.
Following their release on Friday, the students joined tens of their colleagues at the sit-in on campus.
“We are holding a peaceful open sit-in until we see real action being taken regarding the removal of the 1979 bylaw. No [student union] elections will be held under this bylaw,” said student Hossam Ahmed.
Several movements including the Revolutionary Socialists, the Egyptian Free Students Movement and the April 6 Youth Movement are participating in the ongoing sit-in at Cairo University.
Two members of April 6 were among the arrested students. The movement said they will continue their campaign for a million signatures on the petition against the “state security regulation.”
“The counter-revolution is active in its efforts to [silence] the voice of the revolution and the revolutionaries in all state institutions,” the movement said in a statement Friday.
“There is no denying the importance of the students’ movement for the revolution in the present and future. Instead of raising awareness among students, officials want to continue the oppression, emptying the minds and curbing the enthusiasm and ambition of students,” the statement read.