• June 4, 2016
  • 12 minutes read

Rights Organization Denounces Escalating Coup Security Arrest Campaign of Students at Exams

Rights Organization Denounces Escalating Coup Security Arrest Campaign of Students at Exams

During the three weeks since the beginning of end-of-year exams at Egypt\’s universities, coup security apparatuses arrested at least 15 students from various universities and institutions, exam rooms or generally on campus. They are seemingly arbitrary arrests, without warrants or real charges.

Freedom Seekers Monitor (FSM) for rights and freedoms documented that during the said 3-week period, the following students were rounded-up, subjected to various periods of forced disappearance and detained:

Ahmed Mohamed Abdel-Hadi – Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University;

Musaab Elsayed – Faculty of Engineering, University of Beni Suef;

Huzaifa Mukhtar – Faculty of Arabic Language, Al-Azhar University in Shebin;

Mohamed Tarek Abdel-Mohsen – Faculty of Law, Cairo University;

Abed Aladdin Mahmoud Ezzat – School of Systems and Information, Institute of Abu-Qir, Alexandria;

Mohamed Mahmoud – Industrial Technical Institute;

Abdel-Rahman Hassan Tantawi – Workers University in Mansoura.

FSM also documented the arrest of Al-Azhar University (Assiut) students:

Mohamed Abdellah Abdel-Muttalib – Faculty of Science;

Mohamed Essam El-Din Abul-Magd – Faculty of Theology and Advocacy.

Moreover, four students were arrested at Mansoura University:

Ahmed Al-Anani – Faculty of Engineering;

Ali Mohamed Suleiman – Faculty of Engineering;

Abdel-Rahman Rashid Ibrahim – Faculty of Education;

Mohamed Kamal – Faculty of Commerce.

The last of those arrested were Ahmed Sami Abdel-Rauf and Mahmoud El-Sawy – students at the Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University.

In their testimony, the family of student Mohamed Tariq Abdel-Mohsen (from Giza Governorate), stated they learnt from his class mates of his arrest by members of coup security forces in civilian clothes on Monday, May 23, 2016 on campus, just as he made his exit from the exam room.

"Security officers took him in a microbus to an unknown destination. We could not find out our son\’s place of detention. So, we sent special telegraphs to a number of officials, including the public prosecutor, the public attorney, the Interior Minister and the President of Cairo University, regarding the abduction incident.

"However, Mohamed remained under enforced disappearance for 5 days. He appeared on Wednesday, May 28, 2016 at Giza prosecutor\’s office, which charged him with belonging to an illegal organization and remanded him in custody pending investigations."

The brother of student Abdel-Rahman Rashid Ibrahim said that Abdel-Rahman was arrested on May 21, 2016 from the university exam room, adding that Abdel-Rahman was brutally beaten by arresting forces, then suffered electrocution sessions in Mansoura Police Station where he is currently held.

Meanwhile, student Mohamed Essam El-Din Abul-Magd was arrested on May 10, 2016 according to his brother Omar, who said he had been waiting for Mohamed to come out from the university exam room, but was shocked to see that as soon as he left the exam room, coup security forces arrested Mohamed on campus. They took him to an unknown location, prompting his father to send a special telegraph to the attorney general in Assiut to protest the forced disappearance of Mohamed. Nevertheless, the family have not been able to find Mohamed\’s place of detention until this moment.

In his testimony to FSM, Bahaa, student Mohamed Abdellah Abdel-Muttalib\’s brother, said the family learnt only from his brother\’s mates that he had been arrested on May 15, 2016 from inside the university examination room by members of the administrative security who handed him over to members of a security apparatus, who in turn led him in a private car parked in front of the university to an unknown location. He explained that his brother Mohamed was subjected to enforced disappearance for 3 days, until he appeared at Assiut\’s Police Station II, where he was seen by the public prosecutor, who ordered he should be remanded in custody.

In her testimony, student Abed Aladdin Mahmoud\’s sister said they heart from her brother\’s class-mates that a senior official at his institute came to the exam room at noon on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 and spoke with the head of the exam committee. Immediately afterwards, the committee head walked over to Abed and make up an argument with him, claiming he wrote on the exam paper. Then, the institute official intervened, saying they would lead him to a special committee. Abeds sister said that since that moment her brother disappeared, and all attempts to reach him or to find his place of detention failed completely.

Circumstances surrounding the arrest of all other students were very similar. They were arrested from their respective university exam rooms or as soon as they came out of exams witnessed by officials of their universities or institutes, who made no attempt to intervene to stop the arrests or to assist in the release of the students who were arrested. Those officials even openly colluded with security agencies in the arrest of students, without regard for the sanctity of university campuses or the horrific impact of such practices on the students\’ future and educational careers.

Those incidents raise to at least 37 the number of students arrested from university examination rooms, over the past three academic years alone (since the ruinous coup of July 3, 2013 when the military junta ousted the elected President Morsi). Twenty-two of those were arrested during the past five semesters, which indicates a huge rise in the relentless security crackdowns against university students.

FSM stresses that hounding, rounding up and arresting students during or after their exams, which escalated dramatically in recent weeks, is a flagrant violation of the laws, a horrid crime against students to be added to the junta regime\’s shameful record.

University administrations\’ complicity with the security apparatuses and the failure to address these violations committed on campus points to the current junta regime\’s control over Egyptian universities and their administrations, as those are transformed from independent institutions to tools of suppression in the hands of the oppressive regime, at the enormous expense of the students\’ future.

FSM warns of the danger of Egyptian authorities pursuing these repressive methods as a new policy. They do have serious repercussions on student\’s achievement, which in turn will lead to deterioration of the educational process as a whole, in addition to forcing students to stay away from the educational path. That could lead to a state of societal degradation, as well as develop a sense of hostility among students towards the state, and therefore could have devastating effects.

Furthermore, FSM stresses that the continued use by security agencies of the current approach which violates all international and domestic laws, of arresting students, subjecting them to brutal torture and enforced disappearance just for holding different political views is a crime that requires the intervention of the international community.

FSM calls on the United Nations Secretary-General and the international community at large to use all available tools to stop violations against students by Egypt\’s ruling regime and its various bodies and institutions, to work for the release of all students detained for their political opinions, and to bring to trial all those who participated in the arrest and torture of students.

Freedom Seekers Monitor for rights and freedoms

Thursday – June 2, 2016