Private university suspends students for ‘insulting’, 2 years after protests

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read
Mostafa Tawfik, one of the suspended students in MIU (Photo Handout to DNE)
Mostafa Tawfik, one of the suspended students in MIU (Photo Handout to DNE)
Mostafa Tawfik, one of the suspended students in MIU
(Photo Handout to DNE)

Misr International University suspended students who had taken part in protests two years ago, on charges of “insulting the university”.

Graduating student Mostafa Tawfik, one of the suspended students, cannot attend school until 4 March.

In November, during the Student Union elections, a board was put up for students to write suggestions of the things they want to change in the university system.

“I had nothing to do with the board. I know the university is targeting me, so I do not participate in anything. I usually attend my lectures and leave,” said Mostafa Tawfik.

Afterwards, the university referred Tawfik to investigations conducted by two legal consultants to the university and three professors. The journalism student was accused of putting up the board without permission, “a crime he could be imprisoned for”, as well as reviving the “secret” student movement.

When Tawfik denied the charges, supporting his argument by saying that he is graduating in a few months (and thus does not want to cause any trouble), the investigators threatened to imprison him, and asked him how he knows he will graduate.

“They told me if I do not get suspended, I will get imprisoned for cases that are still ongoing since two years ago, although my name is not in the cases,” he said.

Two years ago, MIU witnessed protests against “road safety negligence”, demanding a pedestrians’ bridge outside the university gate to prevent accidents after a student, Antoun Sameh, was hit and killed by a car outside the university in late December 2012. Sameh was not the first to be hit by a car outside the university. The university filed legal cases against a number of students.

Tawfik was not informed of the investigation’s result, but on 7 February , the first day of the spring semester, he found out he was suspended for a week, along with Wafiq Nabil and Mahmoud Haitham, two other students.

The day before he was supposed to come back, Tawfik received a phone call from the university informing him that he and Nabil have been suspended for a further two weeks “for insulting the university”, basing the charge on “people who heard him do so”.

When asked why the university is doing this to him, Mass Communication professor Amany Bassiouny : “Because you are Mostafa Tawfik.”

“They want me to fail the academic year and repeat it,” Tawfik said. Not attending lectures for three weeks means his classes will be dropped by default.

“The university is the one preventing me from entering, yet they consider me absent. Where is the logic in that?” Tawfik asked.

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