Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1237, (12 - 18 March 2015 )
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1237, (12 - 18 March 2015 )

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Student death

HUNDREDS of students at the German University in Cairo (GUC) staged a sit-in on Tuesday to protest the death of a female colleague. The demonstrators refused to end the sit-in until their demands are met.

Yara Tarek, a 19-year-old first-year engineering student, was hit by a bus in the GUC parking lot on Monday. Tarek, whose family are abroad, was waiting to board her bus when another bus reversed at speed and struck her, causing a fatal skull fracture.

The GUC Students Union led the sit-in and almost all students boycotted their classes. They demanded that the administration hold the parking and drivers’ departments accountable.

The GUC, located in New Cairo, is of the most prestigious universities in Egypt. Students also demanded that the university administration start an inspection system for drivers and parking attendants, change the parking layout and create a pedestrian area for students inside the parking lot.

It is not the first time that an accident has occurred in the parking area. Other accidents have resulted in students suffering broken arms and legs.

According to the students, officials of the GUC hadn’t responded to their demands as of Tuesday evening. Accordingly, the sit-in was moved to the parking area to block the movement of buses, after earlier being held inside the campus.

Following the escalation of tensions, the GUC Student Affairs Department sent an email to all students announcing the suspension of classes for three days, beginning on Tuesday, to mourn the death of Tarek. However, the students have refused to end their sit-in. The GUC has handed the driver over to the police for questioning and the New Cairo district prosecution started an investigation into the incident.

Mostly approved

MINISTER of Transitional Justice Ibrahim Al-Heneidi announced on Monday that Egypt has agreed to 80 per cent of the recommendations in the UN Human Rights Council’s 2014 Universal Periodic Review for Egypt. Over the past three years, Egypt has implemented nearly 220 of the 314 recommendations presented by 122 countries at the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights held in Egypt in November last year, Al-Heneidi said at a press conference.

These include recommendations regarding freedom of expression and the media, as well as the rights of the disabled, women and children, including criminalising sexual harassment and domestic violence, he said. Al-Heneidi added that the rest of the recommendations were rejected because they go against Islamic Sharia and Egyptian values.

In November, several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, expressed their concern over Egypt’s controversial NGO and anti-protest laws. Other countries stressed the need to uphold freedom of expression and women’s rights. Egypt sent its reply to the recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council a few days ago, the minister added.

Students protest

DOZENS of students at Cairo and Helwan universities protested on Monday against the presence of police on campus, as the head of Cairo University renewed threats to expel students who stage protests. The demonstrations were organised by student members of the Ultras White Knights (UWK), the football fan group of the Zamalek club.

The group condemned the 9 February deaths of 20 club fans who were killed in a stampede when police used tear gas to disperse a large crowd attempting to attend a football match. At Cairo University, while chanting anti-police slogans, students lit fireworks, as Ultras usually do in football stands.

The protests came only one day after the head of Cairo University, Gaber Nassar, announced the expulsion of 15 students. In a press statement, Nassar said that Cairo University will not allow students “belonging to the Brotherhood to disrupt the educational process and cause riots every now and then.” Some students, according to Nassar, set fire to state television cars that were waiting outside the university during a visit by the prime minister.

“You have returned to violence and we have returned to expelling you for good,” Nassar said, referring to the students. Some of the students were later readmitted on condition they not participate in protests, but many continued to demonstrate. In the 2013-2014 academic year, a total of 140 students were expelled from Cairo University; 52 were readmitted.

Thousands of students have been arrested and put on trial in accordance with the anti-protest law. Dozens of others have been expelled for their involvement in protests over the past few months. The expulsions followed a ruling by the Supreme Council of Universities to expel students and staff members involved in violence.

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