While Ohio University students are busy preparing for the Halloween celebrations this weekend, hundreds of university students in Cairo are taking the streets to protest against the new government measures restricting political dissent in colleges and proposing stricter laws for faculty measures.
This past Sunday, student protesters destroyed a number of metal detectors that were installed in both the University of Cairo campuses and al-Azhar campuses in the capital. The detectors were originally installed with the purpose of preventing a resurgence of demonstrations in support of the former president Mohamed Morsi. At least 13 students were arrested during Sunday’s demonstration—shadowing the 16 deaths and hundreds of arrests during last year’s peaceful protests.
This year, though, the new government officials in Egypt have taken a stronger stand and have warned that any protests will not be tolerated. Authorities have also hired a private security firm called Falcon Group, to search students.
However, according to a recent Al Jazeera article Youssef Salhen, a spokesman for the Students Against the Coup (SAC) said, “The student protest movement will not stop. We want our voice to be heard that the students of Egypt don’t accept the coup and the military rule… If we don’t protest that means everything is okay.” He also stated that authorities had arrested more than 40 student organizers from their homes prior to Sunday’s protests, but it is important to note that Al Jazeera was unable to independently support the claim.
Nontheless, student leaders say more than 1,800 people have been jailed for opposing President Abdel Fattah el Sisi’s leadership since he seized power from Morsi last year and according to the Association of Freedom of Though and Expression (AFTE) 195 students have been placed in custody during the first week of school alone—and even one student, Omar Sharif, was reportedly shot in the head and died shortly after during a demonstration at Alexandria University on Tuesday, October 14. Vice also reports that this academic year has already seen at least 16 students killed in campus related violence and over a thousand detained.
Historically speaking, protests have been able to do a lot of good and also have been known to not fair as well. How do you think these student-lead protests will end?