The Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University (FECU) Student Movement announced Saturday that they would extend their sit-in “until their demands are met”.
The movement cited in a statement that the faculty’s actions conflicted with the agreement they had made with the student union, which spoke on behalf of the movement and the faculty cohorts. The faculty had promised to allow the sit-in, but denied the students entry into the campus.
On Saturday, the semester programme students broke the lock on the side gate of the faculty after security personnel refused their entry at the main gate. The security claimed this was because it was the students’ day off, with the credit-hours programme students only having entered after their bags were searched.
The FECU Student Movement is an FECU coalition comprised of the university’s student union, political groups and independent students.
Three of the detained students were acquitted from charges of participating in the 6 October clashes and two students were released on bail Saturday. One student belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood and was detained during the Media City events and released only on paper. The second student, Omar Sebaay, was detained from a coffee shop in downtown Cairo last Sunday.
Sebaay claims he was “investigated at 3am while being blindfolded by Homeland Security officers” and accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. He added that he and his friend were detained among a group of 19 young men who were also arbitrarily arrested on the same day that Students Against the Coup protested in Tahrir.
FECU has held two other successful sit-ins, the first of which lasting two weeks after over 70 football supporters were killed in what the media dubbed “the Port Said massacre”. The sit-in had called for the honouring of “the martyrs”, two students and the son of a faculty member, and the release of a student detained during related clashes that took place later in Mansour Street. The second sit–in, which lasted for a week last March, called for the release of the students detained during the clashes in Mansoura University.
According to Salma Samy, correspondent for the Student Observatory of the Association of Freedom of Expression, the mechanical engineering students at Zagazig University have organised a new strike until fellow student Amr Haggag is released. Haggag was one of the students detained at his house last November after calling for Zagazig University’s first strike.
On Saturday morning, Zagazig University students organised a protest, which was later attacked by “thugs” in front of the security directorate. The protest called for the release of the aforementioned students who were detained under accusations of “thuggery” and destroying public and private property.