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Ain Shams university suspends classes

In a press conference held by student movements at Aim Shams University, students announced protests would escalate if the university does not heed their demands

Ain Shams University students march demanding campus security on 14 April (Photo by: Ahmed Al-Malky)
Ain Shams University students march demanding campus security on 14 April
(Photo by: Ahmed Al-Malky)

Several student movements held a press conference on Thursday to address the recent wave of violence directed at the students. According to Mostafa Fouad, Al-Dostour Party’s head of university student movements, the university has decided to suspend classes until further notice.

“We called for the press conference to talk about the recent events that have taken place at the university,” Fouad said referring to the mass demonstrations and violence. He said that the union had planned to hold a protest on Sunday, which prompted the university to suspend classes. Fouad said he believes the university is trying to dissuade people from protesting and are likely to restart classes on Monday.

“We decided to delay our protest until Sunday night if the university does resume classes,” Fouad said. “If they do not resume classes we will delay protests until the university reacts.” Fouad, a law student, warned that if the university does not take appropriate action to satisfy their demands the students will escalate their protests. “If there is no response by Thursday next week we may take our protest to the Ministry of Higher Education.”

The university is opposing the students’ call for private security to secure the campus. Fouad said the university would rather use police to secure the campus, which is illegal according to a court order prohibiting police officers from operating on university grounds.

The students are demanding the university cancel all classes until it hires security. The university has said that there is no need for private security on campus as the students do not need protection.

“The administration therefore should be held responsible for the attacks that happened in last Sunday’s protest,” Fouad said, accusing the university of allowing “thugs” on campus in order to disperse the crowd. “Those that attacked us are well-known thugs that sell drugs and weapons on campus,” he said. The university denied that there were “thugs” on campus.

The press conference was organized by Al-Dostour, Masr Kaweya, 6 April Movement, and the Muslim Brotherhood student movements.

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