The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned on Thursday the “siege” Egyptians universities are being subjected to “by security forces.”
The Front for Defense for Egyptian Protesters said 16 students arrested earlier this week from Al-Azhar University were ordered detained for 15 days.
It added that the decision for 10 more detained students is set to be announced on Thursday. The 10 include eight Cairo University students and two high school students.
Dozens of students have been arrested throughout the week including at least 48 on Monday, who were arrested during clashes at Al-Azhar University and another 17 on Tuesday, according to Interior Ministry figures. These are in addition to the 10 who were arrested during Cairo University clashes on Tuesday.
ANHRI said students from different political backgrounds have been protesting for various reasons, whether it is objecting to the protest law, to oppressive practices by the authorities against students or to demand the release of fellow students.
The group said many students are facing charges related to the Protest Law.
ANHRI called for the release of all arrested students and said it “fully rejects” that the “infamous Protest Law” is used to justify security forces intervening in universities again.
On Wednesday, clashes erupted in Minya University and Al-Azhar and Cairo universities.
The student union of the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University announced that it is suspending all activities until Sunday, “out of fear for students’ lives.” The student union added that it will be holding negotiations with other groups in order to come out as a unified group that can face the current situation.
The Faculty of Engineering had lost a freshman, Mohamed Reda, to clashes with security forces on 28 November.
Following clashes on Tuesday, the university administration suspended classes in the Faculty of Engineering but on Wednesday, the semester was officially ended by Head of Cairo University Gaber Nassar.
The college’s administration handed a resignation to Nassar but he delayed looking into it and told the administration to continue to resume its responsibilities in a caretaker manner.
Students from Cairo University, Al-Azhar, Mansoura, Alexandria and Zagazig universities have held demonstrations since the beginning of the academic year. In many cases, the protests have turned into violent stand-offs with security forces.
Security forces were first allowed into Al-Azhar University after violence erupted on university campus on 30 October.
Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi announced that police forces would be present at the gates of all public universities to help maintain security. El-Beblawi’s cabinet gave university presidents the right to request the entry of police forces into campus in case of “threats to individuals, property or students”.
Until 2009, the Ministry of Interior was responsible for providing Homeland Security, at the time known as State Security personnel to secure universities.
In 2009, the Administrative Court overruled this decision, establishing an “administrative” university security. This decision barring Homeland Security from University campuses did not go into effect until the 2011 revolution.