The Egyptian Revolutionary Council, in solidarity with students in Egypt, held a press conference in London, coinciding with International Students’ Day on Tuesday, the 17th of November. The press conference presented the latest reports from the Student Freedom Observatory, detailing violations against students after the military coup.
Among the violations exhibited were 234 cases of extrajudicial killings, including 22 students killed in their respective university campuses and 8 students killed under torture in police custody. 4573 students, 144 of which were female students, were arrested on the background of their political opinions. Torture was systematically practiced against all detained students. 160 students were exposed to severe torture. 1223 students were unfairly dismissed from their colleges and university halls. Furthermore, 300 students are undergoing unfair trials.
Statistics relating to violations against dissident university professors were also presented during the press conference. Societal problems experienced by students in Egypt were discussed and this included marginalisation of youth and their deprivation of the right to a decent life. These issues leave youth prey to unemployment, poverty, drugs and extremism. With deterioration of the quality of university education and the spread of nepotism and inheritance of jobs, migration has become the desire of 1 out of every 3 university students. Young people now shun political participation and community volunteering.
Soumaya Halawa, from the Free Halawa Campaign in Ireland, presented her brother’s case, Ibrahim Halawa, who was detained at the age of 17 during Fatih Mosque events. Soumaya announced that Ibrahim started a hunger strike 26 days ago after failing to obtain his freedom in spite of the law issued by Sisi in November 2014 allowing the extradition of suspects or convicts who hold other nationalities to their respective countries. Soumaya Halawa criticized the inaction of the State of Ireland and their failure to pressure Sisi’s regime to release Ibrahim, knowing that Ireland is his country of birth .
The conference concluded by sending greetings to student martyrs and their parents. Panellists urged that students detained due to their political orientation and views are dismissed. Panellists reiterated their commitment to continue to advocate students’ cases until democracy and freedom is restored to Egypt and the unjust military rule ends.