A teaching assistant at Cairo University was arbitrarily dismissed on Sunday, following an anonymous complaint to the administration stating that he incites protests.
The teaching assistants’ conduct council received an anonymous complaint against Ahmed Abdel Bassit, who worked at Cairo University’s Faculty of Sciences, accusing him of “inciting students and professors to hold hostile protests against the university administration and the government, taking part in Muslim Brotherhood protests at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares, and insulting the faculty members on social media platforms”.
The defendant’s lawyer Mohab Saeed, from the Association of Freedom and Thought and Expression (AFTE), told Daily News Egypt: “The TA was dismissed before the end of investigations, which in itself is illegal.”
The law concerning civilian workers in Egypt, which was used against the TA, is very broad and has no definitive terms in stating code of ethics inside the university, the lawyer said. The council expelled him based on his personal acts outside the university and the testimonies were all based on Facebook posts and videos.
“The TA appeared in a video where hundreds of Cairo University students rallied alongside the university president Gaber Nassar in solidarity with the death of their fellow engineering student Mohamed Reda on campus in 2013,” he said
According to Saeed, the case has no concrete evidence or clear testimonies that he ever incited protests. “Even if he has a political background, or took part in any previous protests, that does not make him a criminal suspect. Moreover the video shows that university president took part in the rally as well,” he said.
AFTE issued a report condemning the dismissal on Sunday, revealing more details and alleged legal violations in Abdel Bassit’s case. According to the report, the investigations started in November 2014 and contained many flaws, including that the defendant Abdel Bassit was not officially notified of the investigations or the time of its sessions.
“Abdel Bassit is not the only faculty member who faced such charges, the state has been against all opposing entities including Cairo University for nearly two years”, an AFTE lawyer told Daily News Egypt. “We have filed a new lawsuit at the State Council to appeal the expulsion; it is just a matter of time.”
The report also mentioned that the testimonies made by other professors and teaching assistants entirely contradicted the charges against Abdel Bassit, adding that some of them said they do not even remember his name.