Police forces return to Al-Azhar University

Menna Zaki
4 Min Read
Students protest at Al-Azhar University on Tuesday. (Photo from SAC)
Students protest at Al-Azhar University on Tuesday. (Photo from SAC)
Students protest at Al-Azhar University on Tuesday.
(Photo from SAC)

Demonstrations at Al-Azhar University and Ain Shams University took place Tuesday morning inside the university campuses were ended when security forces stormed in and broke them up.

The demonstrations were sympathising with the death of Alexandria University student Omar Al-Sharif who died from birdshots fired by the police during the clashes between students and riot police on 14 October.

Al-Azhar University student Mahmoud Al-Azhary said that security forces stormed into the campus. He added that security forces ended the demonstrations and some students were detained, however “we still don’t have the exact number”.

Ain Shams University student Gehad Sultan said that the demonstration mainly called for “breaking the security siege” on universities and the daily storming into university campuses.

Sultan noted that police forces stormed into the campus. He added as well that so far four students were detained as they were standing in front of the university gate.

After his injury Al-Sharif was moved to Al-Miri hospital and his body transported to the morgue on Tuesday morning said Head of the Ambulance Authority’s office Ahmed Al-Ansary.

Lawyer Mohamed Ramadan, who was handling Al-Sharif’s case, said he received the news from the deceased’s mother.

Ramadan said Al-Sharif was killed by birdshot fired by the police, with damage caused to the student including a brain haemorrhage. He added, however, “that 16 students were arrested and accused of attempting to murder him”.

Ramadan filed a complaint, which included a picture showing that Al-Sharif was shot by a policeman.

Five students were expelled from Alexandria University after they had been investigated for taking part in protests that have occurred since the start of the academic year on 11 October. The decision was taken by President of Alexandria University Osama Ibrahim decided on Monday, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.

Ibrahim also added in a press conference on Monday that 11 other students were being investigated for protesting inside campus without permission.

Police forces broke into an Al-Azhar Girls University on Sunday as students protested against the mass arrest of fellow students and the heavy presence of riot police in and around the campus.

The protests have continued intermittently over the past week, resulting in students and security, both state and private, clashing in and around university campuses across the country.

The academic year was due to begin in September, but was postponed in a government decision. University campuses across the nation have witnessed violent clashes since the start of this academic year.

According to Democracy Index, in the first week of the year 18 universities witnessed 58 protests, with an average of 10 protests per day. Clashes resulted in the arrests of at least 163 students.

In the past academic year, at least 16 students were killed inside their campuses and hundreds were arrested, according to Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

AFTE added that during the first week police forces stormed into six universities, with Al-Azhar University stormed twice.

This year, private security company Falcon was hired by the government to secure eight universities, but students violently clashed with them last week, forcing them to flee several campuses.

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