Engineering student Islam Salah Al-Din Atitu was found dead on a desert road near the Fifth Settlement district Wednesday morning after security forces purportedly took him from the Ain Shams University campus the day before, according to the university’s Student Union (SU).
Atitu was taking an exam along with his colleagues when “an unidentified man, accompanied by a university staff member , asked that the student Islam Salah Al-Din Atitu go with the man to the student affairs office”, the SU statement said, adding that students had noticed the man waiting outside the exam room.
Atitu was missing for all of Tuesday after the exam, with his friends and family unaware of his whereabouts.
After news of the student’s death spread, “the Ministry of Interior broadcasted a false story stating that he was one of the terrorists that were killed in a hideout after an exchange of fire”, the SU said.
The statement went on, saying: “All of the world’s words are not enough to describe the lies, slander, and criminality that the state practices on young people. These cold-blooded killings and indictments without fair trials are fascist acts, and cannot be described as anything less.”
The students also stated that they requested that the Ain Shams University administration, specifically the dean of the school of engineering, clarify why an unknown security official was allowed inside the exam room. The university has yet to respond to the students.
Meanwhile, at least 22 students have been killed on-campus, or as a result of on-campus violence, over the past two years, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
Anas Al-Mahdy, a student at Cairo University, died earlier this week; on 19 April security officers beat Al-Mahdy until he went into a coma that lasted 27 days, due to brain haemorrhage.
According to AFTE, Al-Mahdy was beaten by campus security fighting alongside the police and plainclothes men with weapons. Most public universities across Egypt hired Falcon, a private security firm, to secure campuses, while plainclothes police are reported to have a large on-campus presence.