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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Security Forces Arrest Students from Ain Shams University

16 March 1999

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights is deeply alarmed by the arrest
of 9 students from Ain Shams University on 15 March 1999. The students, who
were arrested inside the university, were referred to the public
prosecution on charges of assembling, rioting, threatening public security
and order, thuggery and distribution of leaflets. The public prosecution
ordered their imprisonment for 15 days pending investigations. The arrested
students areMohamed Gameel Rady, Sherif Shalandah, Hany Fawzy, Emad
Mubarak, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman Khier, Mohamed Abdel-Meguid, Hend Youseef, Iman
Mohamed Hassan, and Ashraf Mohamed Mohamed. In addition, the EOHR learned
that the public prosecution summoned another 7 students for questioning
Hassan Mahmoud Hassan, Sayed Abdel-Aaty, Khaled Amin El-Kholi and his
sister Mona Amin El-Kholi, Mahmoud Mohamed Hanafi, Asma Mostafa, and Sarah
Naguib Zaki.

Two weeks ago, students of the Faculty of Education at Ain Shams University
began a series of protests and sit-ins against a governmental decision to
change the conditions for employment in government schools following
graduation. The protests spread to other faculties in Ain Shams and later
to other universities. On 15 March, the University's security police
arrested the above-mentioned students after provoking a clash between them
and another group of students. During the clash, the students were also
attacked by two forces of the central security forces. Following the
arrest, they were taken to the security office at the University and later
transferred to the Heliopolis police station. At one a.m. on the following
day, 16 March, the public prosecution started questioning the students,
which lasted until four a.m. It is worth mentioning that the complaint
filed by the students to the EOHR states that both the University and the
Government refused to open any channels of dialogue with them. Moreover,
all throughout their protests the University has been surrounded by large
numbers of security forces.

The EOHR is seriously concerned about the attack on the University, and
about the arrests and serious charges raised against the students. The EOHR
urges the authorities to promptly release them, and to respect their rights
to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression as stipulated by the
Egyptian Constitution and the International Convention on Civil and
Political Rights, ratified by the Egyptian Government. It also calls upon
the authorities to open a dialogue with the students instead of treating
them as thugs. Finally, the EOHR calls upon civil society institutions to
take prompt and practical steps for the release of the arrested students
and to show solidarity with them. 

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This document is published online by Derechos Human Rights. Derechos works against violations to human rights and humanitarian law all over the world.