Muslim Brotherhood students eye university sit-in, strike

Millions of students went to schools on Saturday at the beginning of a new academic year in Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood students eye university sit-in, strike

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood students has said that all options are on the table for protesting what he called a "military coup" against elected president Mohamed Morsi, including sit-ins and strikes.

"We have already started our activities inside universities by welcoming new students," Sohayb Abdel-Maqsood told Anadolu Agency.

"We prepare for a strong start in tandem with calls for a nationwide civil disobedience."

Supporters of Morsi, who was ousted by the army two months ago after mass protests against his regime, have called for civil disobedience on Sunday.

Abdel Maqsood said Muslim Brotherhood students are only part of a larger group of students almost all political forces in Egypt, who come together in an umbrella group called "Students against Military Coup".

He said coordination is underway to launch activities as "human shields, protests, sit-ins, strikes, civil disobedience and all other peaceful activities".

"We seek to make the universities a new thorn in the back of the military coup," Abdel-Maqsood said.

"The record of Egypt's students against limiting freedoms proves that they are capable of doing all this."

Abdel Maqsood said students in each university will agree on the appropriate measures to express their opposition to what he described as the "bloody military coup" against Morsi, which, according to him, ushered in a setback to the January 25 revolution.

He said the students will do all this in a peaceful manner and that their movement will not allow any damage to university institutions and buildings.

He added that recent decisions by the government to postpone study at al-Azhar University and also granting powers to arrest students on campus "shows that this government realizes the enormity of the anger of the students".

"They are afraid of the revolution of the students," Abdel Maqsood said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the movement from which Morsi hails, has earlier warned against possible attacks against schools, arguing that "military coup-makers" would carry out these bombings and then heap the blame on the group.

"The announcement by some TV channels related to the military coup that bombings would target schools aim, among other things, at giving the authorities an excuse to postpone the start of the new academic year for fear of the expected university students' uprising against the coup," the Brotherhood wrote in a statement on Friday.

The warning comes as millions of students went to schools on Saturday at the beginning of a new academic year.

Security authorities have tightened security measures for the new academic years, including the removal of road violations, forcing hawkers close to educational institutions to leave, and removing old cars parked near to schools and universities, lest they should be used in violent activities.

Earlier this month, Minister of Justice Abdel Abdel Hamid decided to give arrest powers to university administrative personnel.

Higher Education Minister Hossam Essa said that the decision aims to make these administrative personnel able to counter what he described as "violent actions" on campus.

On Friday, Essa gave freedom to university heads across the nation to postpone study in their universities in the light of the security conditions in these universities.

Abdel Maqsood described as a "minority" the opponents of his movement, denying rumors about a bid by the Muslim Brotherhood students to hinder study in universities.

"The coup-makers are the ones who hinder the study," Abdel Maqsood said. "How can we hinder study in places that had always opposed corrupt people. We are confident that our peacefulness is far stronger than gunfire."

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Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2013, 13:53
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