University students protest arrest of colleagues in Egypt
Thousands of university students demonstrated on Sunday at Al Azhar University here in protest against the arrest and detention of dozens of their colleagues by Egyptian security forces, the official Muslim Brotherhood website reported.The afternoon fdemonstration called or the release of the students, who are currently being held under suspicion of “belonging to a banned organization.”Late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser banned the Muslim Brotherhood in 1954, after blaming the group for a failed assassination attempt against him, but the group has continued to deny any involvement in violent acts, officially denouncing all forms of violence in the 1980s.
Brotherhood leaders have continued to voice their opposition to the mass arrests of their members, especially students.”It (arrest) will remain as long as there is no democracy, no political diversity, no transition of power peacefully, no public freedom and as long as corruption exists,” Brotherhood Deputy Mohamed Habib told PANA.
“All this shows we live in a state of political dead ends, oppression and dictatorship,”” he added.During their demonstration, the Al Azhar students condemned what they called “the blatant interference of the security apparatus in student affairs” and called on the university to end full-body searches of the students when entering the university.
The demonstration came a day after at least three students were killed in the panic that ensured after a fire at an all-girls college of the Al Azhar branch in the Nile Delta.
Egypt has arrested hundreds of members of the banned opposition group over the past few months, but international rights groups have called for a change of policy concerning the non-violent Islamic organization.