World Bulletin / News Desk
Al-Azhar University on Wednesday decided to suspend the activities of student unions and ban protests on campus, calling on the Interior Ministry to enforce the order.
In a statement, the university administration asked the faculty deans to ask police help to stop attacks on students and buildings or any disruption of the educational process.
Anti-coup demonstrations have rocked several universities throughout the country since Egypt's academic year began in September.
The most violent of these have been seen at Al-Azhar University's Cairo campus, where the academic year began in October after having been postponed by almost one month.
The administration of al-Azhar University said the ban on protests aims to safeguard the educational process in the university.
The administration called on the Interior Ministry to protect its buildings and enforce its decision to ban the protests, describing attacks on university buildings as "unjustified" and "barbaric".
It said that demonstrations had offended Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb and University President Osama al-Abd and all faculty deans.
Meanwhile, the "Azhar Students against Coup" movement, which backs ousted president Mohamed Morsi, called for protests on campus on Thursday.
The movement said that the demonstration will be in reaction to the dispersal of Wednesday's student protests and the arrest of protesting students.
Policemen used teargas earlier on Wednesday to disperse a rally staged by anti-coup students outside Al-Azhar headquarters in eastern Cairo.
"Policemen of the coup have lost their mind, having seen the huge numbers of the students taking part in the protests," the movement said in a statement.
Police disperse student rally demanding release of detained classmates, one killed
A student was killed outside the Al-Azhar University dorm in the capital Cairo after clashes erupted between scores of protesting students and policemen.
The students of the university, however, identified their slain colleague as Abdel-Ghani Mahmoud, a medical school student, who died of birdshot wounds.
Around 230 students were injured in the clashes, including 120 with bird shots and 200 as a result of inhaling teargas, the university students union said in a statement.
"The events are just a new episode of the violations against the rights of the students of al-Azhar University," said the statement.
"What happened against the students will continue to disgrace al-Azhar," it added.
The rally, staged outside the Azhar student hostel, was organized by the "Azhar students against coup" movement, which backs ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Eyewitnesses said policemen had detained several students who used fireworks in resisting the policemen and burned wood to reduce the effect of the teargas. The Interior Ministry said 24 "rioters" had been arrested.
The protest came hours after the Azhar University decided to suspend the activities of student unions and ban protests on campus, calling on the Interior Ministry to enforce the order. The administration of al-Azhar University said the ban on protests aims to safeguard the educational process in the university.
Al-Azhar University President Osama al-Abd said the decision also applies to the dorms. He threatened to take "decisive" measures against any student who violates the latest decisions.
However, the students, who have vowed to continue their protests until their detained colleagues are released, later besieged Azhar University's administrative building, spray-painting the building's walls and set fire to a picture of army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, widely perceived as the chief architect of democratically-elected Morsi's July 3 ouster.
Protesting students also chanted slogans against Azhar University President Osama al-Abd.
38 Azhar students given 18-month jail terms
An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 38 Azhar University students to 18 months in prison each on charges of illegal assembly and resisting authorities.
Two minors, meanwhile, were referred to a juvenile court.
Prosecutors charged the 40 defendants with resisting authorities, illegal assembly and attacking public property during recent protests outside Azhar University in Cairo.
Last week, 12 Azhar students were sentenced to a whopping 17 years in prison each on charges of illegal assembly, thuggery, assaulting civil servants and attacking public property.Last Mod: 21 Kasım 2013, 17:07