The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters banned on Monday on-campus protests, except those that obtain a permit from the president of the university on which the protest will be held.
The court’s decision comes in the wake of daily violence on university campuses nationwide since the start of the academic year in September.
Abdallah Abdel Motaleb, spokesman for Al-Azhar Union’s Muslim Brotherhood-dominated student union, described the court decision as “nonsense”. He added that if the student union plans a protest, they will not wait on a permit from the university’s president.
“If students cannot protest without the university president’s permission, security forces should not kill students without the university president’s permission as well,” Abdel Motaleb said.
A student from Al-Azhar University was shot dead with live ammunition on Saturday morning, amid clashes which erupted around the university.
Abdel Motaleb denied that pro-Mohamed Morsi student protesters prevented other students from attending exams on Monday. The Ministry of Interior said it arrested 15 student protesters, describing them as Muslim Brotherhood members. The ministry accused them of pelting security forces with rocks.
State-run Al-Ahram reported that Al-Azhar students affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood fired random gunshots at other students at the university’s Faculty of Islamic Studies to prevent them from taking their exams.
“How could one student prevent another from attending his exam?” Abdel Motaleb questioned. “Whoever wishes to take the exam is free to do so, and whoever wishes to skip it is also free.”
One student received a gunshot wound to the head, and a policeman was injured, Al-Ahram reported.
Masked men fired birdshots inside Al-Azhar University’s dorms to prevent the students from taking their tests, reported state-run news agency MENA.
Mohamed Fathallah, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said that the ministry was not notified with any injuries on Monday.
The Ministry of Interior stated that female students in Al-Azhar University’s Faculty of Engineering who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood tried to stall the faculty exams on Monday by attacking their colleagues. In a statement released on Monday, the ministry accused the female protesters of “creating chaos to terrorise other students and prevent them from sitting through their exams”.
Abdel Motaleb said that masked men have been trying to break into the university dorms since Sunday. He added that the masked men, whom he accused of being affiliated with the police, physically attacked female students in the university’s Faculty of Engineering on Monday.
Violence has been ongoing in Al-Azhar University since exams officially began on Saturday.
Al-Azhar demonstrations began in October protesting the death and detainment of fellow students since the dispersal of sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Square, as well as the oust of former president Mohamed Morsi.