The Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University (FECU) held a press conference Thursday morning regarding the death of one of its students, Mohamed Reda. The press conference included testimonies of eye witnesses, the screening of videos documenting the events and a statement by the faculty’s student movement which is coordinating the strike.
Dean of FECU Dr Sherif Morad, one of the speakers at the press conference, refuted the allegations that Reda was shot from inside the university and assured that the fatal birdshots came from outside. Morad said: “There is a delegation handing the results of the faculty investigation of the incident to the Attorney general’s office.”
FECU students organised a strike, which began on Sunday and included several thousand students in and around Cairo University, to protest the death of FECU student Mohamed Reda.
Abdel Rahman Al-Shamy, one of the organisers of the strike, said: “We refuse to be labelled as members of the [Muslim] Brotherhood or applying their agenda,” adding that “the media is directing the public opinion to label the student movement as the Brotherhood to give grounds to use to force with the protests.”
Al-Shamy stated that the student movement is separate from the Muslim Brotherhood and are not involved with protests organised by Students Against the Coup; the student movement refuses to raise the Rabaa sign or those associated with former president Mohamed Morsi.
The statement listed the demands of the striking students, who call for the trial those responsible for the death of Reda, the resignation of Minister of Education Dr Hossam Eisa, the retreat of all police forces near Cairo University, the release of all the student detainees, payment by the government for the treatment of injured students, the resignation of the board of ESU, the abolishment of the Protest Law and the honouring of all the “martyrs” from the Faculty of Engineering.
Minister of Interior Mohamd Ibrahim mentioned in a statement last Tuesday that he is being “very patient” with the students blocking the road in front of Cairo University and that “this is part of a plot against 30 June“.
Egyptian universities have been a major site for protest in recent months. Al-Azhar, Zagazig, Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Menufiy, Minya and Asuit universities have witnessed student demonstrations since last October.
Violence erupted on and off campuses during the last period between students of different political affiliations, students and Central Security Forces as well as students and the administrative security.
A number of students from different political affiliations are facing prosecution. A 17-year sentence was handed to 12 Al-Azhar students with a bail amount of EGP 64,000 and the death Reda have been the most outraging events.
President of Egypt’s Student Unions (ESU) Mohamed Badran was interviewed by Ibrahim Eisa on Wednesday night. Badran discussed the student protests in different universities and the death Engineering student at Cairo University Mohamed Reda. Badra
“Engineering student Mohamed Reda died from four millimeter birdshots that are not used by the interior ministry,” said Badran, highlighting that he had personally examined both the birdshots that killed Reda and those used by the Ministry of Interior at the forensics office.
“There is a Muslim Brotherhood triangle composed of students, faculty members and employees in five universities behind the massive Brotherhood protests taking place in those universities,” stated Badran,
Badran is not supported by the protesting students, who consider him a “a tool of the regime”.