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Security fire tear gas as students escalate protests - Daily News Egypt

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Security fire tear gas as students escalate protests

Police presence in campus receives widespread condemnation, campus security detain students

Students protest inside Alexandria University on 14 October, 2014. Clashes took place between protesters and riot police who tried to raid the campus firing tear gas with injuries reported. (Photo Students Against the Coup handout )
Students protest inside Alexandria University on 14 October, 2014. Clashes took place between protesters and riot police who tried to raid the campus firing tear gas with injuries reported.
(Photo Students Against the Coup handout )

Students in university campuses across Egypt continued to hold protests on Tuesday condemning the arrest and suspension of fellow students, and the presence of security forces – including the private security company Falcon – in and around campuses, clashing with police.

In Alexandria University students and riot police violently clashed, resulting in the firing of tear gas and bird shots, reported state media.

Students Against Coup (SAC) spokesperson Youssef Saleheen claimed police used live ammunition, and tried to raid buildings inside the Alexandria University campus. The SAC reported injuries, with one student being struck in the head.

The Revolutionary Socialists Movement said on Tuesday that two students were arrested in dawn raids by state security personnel on charges of inciting protests.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said on the privately-owned TV channel Al Mehwar on Monday that the police forces present on campuses are only concerned with law enforcement and that tear gas only will be used in cases of violence.

Some students were detained at Assiut Univertsity by campus security as confrontations broke out between the two. The SAC movement called upon fellow students to mobilise to protest the detentions, threatening further escalation.

At Fayoum University students demonstrated against the “kidnapping [of] students from the university gates and spreading police agents on campus” and “continuation of humiliating the students’ dignity”.

Protests also continued in different universities across the country including Mansoura, Kafr Al-Sheikh and Ain Shams as part of the students’ planned escalation.

The decisions to deploy the security forces sparked condemnation by the 6 April movement, Al-Azhar University Student Union, and Democracy Index.

The Azhari Marsad for Freedoms and Rights said that arguments presented by the security apparatus for their presence inside the university is only “to oppress students and quell their freedoms”.

“The presence of police forces inside the Al-Azhar University last year resulted in the death of 9 and the arrest of 545”, said Azhari Marsad. “The decision strips students of the right to have a safe environment to learn”.

Democracy Index stated that the authorities are continuing to use oppressive policies which have so far proved ineffective in quelling the student protests. “Security confrontations, legislative restrictions, and media distortion campaigns, and political exclusion” remain tools by which the Egyptian state deals with the students, said the group.

In Alexandria University on Monday, students stormed and destroyed electronic gates using Molotov cocktails, and clashed with Falcon personnel, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

AFTE added that three students were arrested for promoting “the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and holding protests”.

At Helwan University, AFTE reported that campus security clashed with students using sticks and rocks. SAC reported that police deployed agents in the metro stations leading to the universities.

At Mansoura University, tens of students from SAC protested, calling for the fall of the current regime.

The SAC branch in Banha condemned the arrest of two students from the city’s university, promising more resistance.

The board of Kafr Al-Sheikh University banned political participation on campus, said AFTE.

SAC also stated that a number of protests took place in Menufiya University, before they were dispersed.

At Al-Azhar University on Monday, riot police were ordered by Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim to secure the campus from the inside. In the university’s branch in Daqahleya, three students were arrested after security entered the campus.

At Cairo University, police forces surrounded the gates leading to the faculty of engineering due to anticipated protests. Meanwhile, police will secure the Cairo University gates from the outside in cooperation with the private security company Falcon.

Additional reporting by Menna Zaki

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