CAIRO: At the start of the new academic year that began last week, the Association for the Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) issued a bulletin describing “security interference” and “arbitrary action” by university administrations.
The bulletin lists four cases that took place over the course of five days.
On Sept. 19, AFTE reports that second-year pharmaceutical student Ahmed Mosaad El-Qalouby was arrested on Zagazig University’s campus while he was distributing leaflets welcoming new students to the university.
El-Qalouby was brought before the public prosecution office on charges of possession of leaflets and membership of a proscribed organization (the Muslim Brotherhood). The public prosecution office ordered that El-Qalouby be released because of the security bodies’ failure to justify his detention. He was eventually released the next day.
Identical charges were leveled against Belal Fawz Nouh, a second-year science student also from Zagazig University, who was arrested on Sept. 21.
On the same day as Nouh’s arrest, interior ministry security officers broke up a student exhibition that was based off of the popular rumor that Gamal Mubarak is being groomed to succeed his father as the President of Egypt. AFTE says that officers physically attacked the students involved and confiscated exhibition materials. One student was detained for two hours.
A similar scene took place at Ain Shams University, where students were prevented from staging a party to welcome new students.
On Sept. 23, Ain Shams University security bodies detained Moataz Bellah Mohamed, a second-year law student, while he was distributing leaflets welcoming new students. Mohamed was brought before an internal disciplinary panel and several charges were levied against him, including the distribution of leaflets without permission.
Last Sunday, AFTE reported in a separate bulletin that Merihan Ibrahim Ghorab, a masters student in Tanta University’s Faculty of Pharmacy, was brought before a public prosecution office in Tanta and was charged with both membership to a political movement that was formed in violation of the law (the April 6 Youth Movement), and to placing stickers on campus buildings.
Public university students and faculty members frequently report cases of interference to student life — both socially and academically — made by interior ministry security bodies.