Students resign union in protest of colleague’s death

Jihad Abaza
3 Min Read
Archival photograph of sudent protest at Ain Shams University. (Photo from SAC)
Archival photograph of sudent protest at Ain Shams University.  (Photo from SAC)
Archival photograph of sudent protest at Ain Shams University.
(Photo from SAC)

Students resigned from the Ain Shams University Student Union, while the faculty of the School of Engineering cancelled exams on Wednesday and Thursday, after student Islam Salah Al-Din Atitu was found dead on a desert road near the Fifth Settlement district on Wednesday morning.

According to a student statement, Atitu was on campus Tuesday morning taking an exam, when an unidentified man, accompanied by a university staff member, went into the exam room and requested that Atitu accompany him to the student affairs office.

For the rest of Tuesday, family and friends did not know of Atitu’s whereabouts until family members found his dead body on a desert road near the Fifth Settlement.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Interior said, in an official statement, that Atitu was killed after clashes and a chase by security forces. The ministry also accused the student of killing police officer Wael Tahoun.

“I think there is a major contradiction between the official statement of the MOI, that he was hiding out, changing hiding places regularly, and about to flee to Upper Egypt, and the fact that he attended his first two final exams on Saturday and Tuesday at Ain Shams University. This guy was not in hiding, which casts doubt on any other detail in the statement,” one Ain Shams University engineering faculty member, who requested anonymity, stated.

The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Ayman Ashour, said in a press statement that Atitu was present for his exams on Tuesday, but denied that the student was arrested from inside the university, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

The Ain Shams University faculty member also said there was no evidence to back up this claim, since “no one spotted police in uniform. The security cameras showed that he left on his own not accompanied by police.”

She added: “He could have been arrested outside though or followed.”

The Students Against the Coup movement reported a series of protests inside various university campuses on Thursday following the news of Atitu’s death.

According to a recent AFTE report, at least 22 students have died during or as a result of on-campus violence over the past two years.

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Jihad Abaza is a journalist and photographer based in Cairo. Personal website:
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