Professors at Cairo University protested Monday against the amendments to the law regulating university affairs, reported state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
The protest was organised by the March 9 Movement for the Independence of Universities, set up to advocate an entirely independent university system. The movement asked permission to hold the protest, and presented an official statement to the university chairman, Gaber Nassar.
The professors criticised the amendments as an attempt to expel faculty members merely suspected of practicing politics on campus without a trial or proper investigation.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) condemned the amendments in a Monday statement. They said they would give the university’s president the right to remove any faculty member if charged with “protesting inciting violence, rioting, obstructing the educational process, possession of weapons and explosives, or destroying university property”.
The amendments were approved by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb on 24 September.
The association described the amendments as unconstitutional, as they deprive the academic community of its right to decision-making, said the statement. “The laws contradict Article 21 of the 2014 constitution, which entails the state should safeguard the independence of universities.”
AFTE added that the university had suspended eight members of the teaching staff from their work as they are facing investigation “because of their political views”.
Hany El-Hosseiny, professor at the Faculty of Science at Cairo University and a member of the March 9 movement, previously said the suggested amendments contradict the very laws of justice. He added that they award the president of the university the role of the disciplinary system.