The Engineering Student Union at Zagazig University held a press conference today saying “the peaceful student strike” would continue until all student demands are met.
The demands elaborated in the press conference included: the release of detained students, a private company to secure the university campus, the resignation of the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the President of Zagazig University, and the repair of damage from “thug attacks”.
Engineering students at Zagazig University started their strike on 16 November, refusing to take their midterms and demanding the release of five student activists with different political affiliations who were taken from their homes and detained.
On the same day Central Security Forces stormed into the university after receiving a handwritten request from the president of the university, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Interior. The statement said that security forces had detained a number of the protesting students, whom it described as “rioters belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood”.
The student strike resumed after security forces left the campus and is currently continuing into its second week. The strike triggered additional protests at other faculties, including the faculties of medicine, pharmacy, arts, sciences, and education. On Saturday the Student Union of the Faculty of Commerce joined the strike.
The strike have also spread to other universities, including: Ain Shams Faculties of Engineering, which is entering its third day and Medicine, entering its second day; Helwan Faculties of Engineering, entering its second day, and Computer Science, entering its second week; and the Matareya campus of the Ain Shams Faculty of Engineering, which is entering its second day.
“The student strikes demand the release of the detained students regardless of their political affiliations,” said researcher Mohamed AbdelSalam from the Student Observatory of the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression. “The students are standing against the violations that have started in Al-Azhar University, and other universities later followed.”
Students belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrated in different universities on Sunday commemorating 100 days that have passed since what they call “Rabaa massacre”. The universities that witnessed protests included: Al-Azhar, Cairo, Zagazig, Helwan and Beni Suef.
“Students are the centre of Egypt,” said one protesting student. “When you limit their freedom, you limit Egypt.”
In Cairo University faculty member and former presidential advisor Pakinam Al-Sharkawy was witnessed protesting for the release of the detained students.