A delegation representing nine NGOs observed detained students taking their midterm examinations, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior.
The Minister of Interior’s assistant for the Prison Authority division received the delegation, which inspected the procedures of examining the imprisoned students from different educational stages, according to the ministry’s statement.
The delegation included President of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) Hafez Abu Seada, Executive Director of the Egyptian Centre for Free Democracy Studies Dalia Ziada, and Deputy General Secretary of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) Islam Abu Al-Enein.
Some detained students were prevented from taking their exams, according to an Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) report Sunday.
The rights group revealed that Kanater Prison allegedly told Ain Shams University’s Faculty of Commerce that it has to postpone exams for student Hanan Mostafa, currently serving a two-year sentence. The Faculty of Commerce responded that Mostafa’s exams would be delayed.
Zagazig University’s Faculty of Pharmacy also refused to send observers to conduct the exams of two detained students, Omar Omar and Abu Bakr Omar, according to the report.
Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim decided on 16 December to allow imprisoned students to attend their midterm exams, saying that the Prison Authority division will coordinate with universities regarding the issue.
AFTE’s lawyer Fatma Serag said Tuesday that her organisation was not invited by the interior ministry to inspect the examinations of the detained students.
Serag explained that the selection of certain NGOs by interior ministry is “an attempt by the ministry to beautify its image in front of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and NGOs.”
She added that AFTE filed a report to NCHR with a survey of detained students so the council can talk to the ministry and exert pressure on it, asserting that “it is of the most basic rights of detained students to take their exams.”
AFTE’s survey claims that 370 university students are detained or serve prison sentences in the 2014/2015 academic year.