World Bulletin/News Desk
Anti-coup protests continued on the Azhar University campus in Cairo for the third day in a row on Monday.
A number of female students gathered outside the university's College for Islamic Studies, raising the now-iconic bright yellow 'Rabaa sign' in memory of the hundreds of demonstrators killed in mid-August during the violent dispersal of two sit-ins staged by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Al-Azhar student protesters chanted slogans against Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb and Azhar University President Osama al-Abd over the pair's public support for Morsi's July 3 ouster by Egypt's powerful military establishment.
Other students surrounded al-Abd's office, chanting slogans against him and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the latter of whom is widely perceived as the architect of Morsi's removal.
In a statement, the 'Students against the Coup' protest movement called for the release of students arrested during Sunday protests, saying they would give police "hours" to release detained student demonstrators.
"We will not allow violations to go unpunished. Soon you will see our response to all breaches committed against students," the statement said without elaborating further.
At least 41 students were arrested on Sunday during protests outside the university that devolved into clashes with police.
On the same day, eyewitnesses told AA that security personnel had stormed the campus while pursuing demonstrators before withdrawing shortly afterward. The Interior Ministry, however, denied the claim.
University administrators, for their part, have dismissed reports of a decision to suspend classes for one week as a result of the disturbances.
"No such decision has been made yet," al-Abd said in a statement. "Despite the protests, lectures were given as usual and attended by students who do not belong to the Muslim Brotherhood or other pro-Morsi groups."
Al-Azhar University delayed the beginning of the academic year (which normally starts in September) for two weeks due to what university administrators described as "unfinished maintenance work."
Student sources, however, say the move was taken for "security reasons," especially given the fact that the university is considered a stronghold for Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated students.
The Azhar students' union has already vowed to stage protests on campus against Morsi's ouster.
The union, which is dominated by Muslim Brotherhood members, has said that more than 100 university students had been killed by security forces during recent pro-democracy rallies, while more than 120 others had been detained by authorities.
Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2013, 17:35