Azhar students vow more protests

Head of the Azhar University student union, Ahmed al-Baqari, said that student uprisings "will take to the streets across Egypt to protest the coup and support [democratic] legitimacy."

Azhar students vow more protests

World Bulletin/News Desk

 Anti-coup students at Egypt's Al-Azhar University vowed to stage further protests after calling it a day on Monday, on which they staged the third consecutive day of demonstrations against the July 3 "military coup" that unseated elected president Mohamed Morsi.

Head of the Azhar University student union, Ahmed al-Baqari, said that student uprisings "will take to the streets across Egypt to protest the coup and support [democratic] legitimacy."

Earlier the same day, protesting students surrounded several faculties on campus, forcing them to close their doors.

"I will never feel the value of education unless my vote given to this man is respected," student protester Khaled Sobhi told Anadolu Agency, pointing to a poster of Morsi hung from the facade of the university's administrative building.

In a statement, university administrators asserted that classes would not be suspended despite the daily protests.

"Muslim Brotherhood students at Azhar don't have the right to suspend or disrupt university studies," the statement read.

The university also threatened to penalize students found to have spray-painted "obscene slogans" on university property. Violators, it warned, would face suspension of up to two years.

Earlier 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 pro-Morsi sit-ins.

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.

"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.

At least 41 students were arrested on Sunday during protests outside the university that later devolved into clashes with police.

Al-Azhar University delayed the beginning of the academic year (which normally starts in September) to the beginning of this week 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 Al-Azhar University is considered a bastion of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated students.

The Azhar student union has already vowed to stage more protests on campus against Morsi's ouster and the ongoing crackdown on pro-Morsi groups and demonstrators.

The student union, which is dominated by 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, 23:56
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