Egyptian Students Activists Clash With Police on College Campus

By Darrin Simmons
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

 CAIRO, Egypt-One student was killed, four injured, and numerous others were arrested during a protest supporting the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with Egyptian police at Al-Azhar University, located in Cairo.

Protesters stand outside a burning building on Al-Azhar’s campus (photo courtesy of Al Jazeera)

The Egyptian security forces used teargas and water cannons in dispersing students and supporters of the ousted Morsi.  The student activist was killed after being hit in the face with a birdshot.

The protesters were staged outside of university buildings attempting to prevent students from entering to take their exams.  Protesters threw rocks at the police and set tires on fire to counter tear gas attacks.

Two college buildings caught fire during the violence.  State TV broadcast footage revealed black smoke billowing from the faculty of commerce building as well as setting the agriculture facility building on fire.

Police arrested 101 students for possession of makeshift weapons that included petrol bombs, reported one state news agency.  Eventually, calm had been restored and scheduled exams proceeded after the morning clashes subsided.

The Brotherhood condemned what it called a “violent crackdown on student protests”, saying in a statement that the deployment of security forces on university campuses was an attempt by the government to “silence any voice opposition.”

Protesters gathered at the university following a harsh court verdict on Wednesday against a group of young female protestors.  The verdict implemented a new law criminalizing protests held without police permits with violators facing fines and prison sentences.

Prosecutors have ordered the continued detention of seven Al-Azhar students that the arrested during the protest.  The students are the first to be ordered detained by prosecutors on allegations of belonging to a terrorist group since the Brotherhood’s formal listing on December 25th.

The widespread crackdown against the pro-Morsi movement was enacted following the overthrow of veteran leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011 increasing tension in Egypt which has experienced one of the worst internal strife in modern history.

On Thursday, General Mohammed Ibrahim, the interior minister, stated “security forces will confront any violation and will face with all decisiveness any attempt to cut roads, block public facilities, hinder citizens’ movement or obstruct their interests.”

The protesters later left the campus and marched down a main road, further instigating confrontation with the police.

For more information, please see the following: 

Al Jazeera-Egyptian students clash with security forces-28 December 2013

Euro News-One student dead reported dead in Egypt university clashes-28 December 2013

The Guardian-Egyptian student killed as security forces clash with protesters in Cairo-28 December 2013

Reuters-One killed as Islamist students and police clash in Cairo-28 December 2013

Author: Darrin Simmons

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