By Jake Lippincott
Cairo University President Gaber Nasser announced Thursday that he will ban 173 students who allegedly took part in campus political protests from taking end of semester exams, according to according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
Police have aggressively confronted university protests, most of which were organised to support former president Mohamed Morsi and criticise the military-backed interim government. Since the start of the school year, more than a dozen student protesters have died and thousands have been detained at universities across the country, including Cairo University.
The decision to ban 173 student activists from taking exams comes on the heels of more conciliatory signals on the part of the interim government. In March, a delegation of students met with interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb to petition for the release of 1,321 Cairo University students. On Wednesday, just one day before Nasser made the announcement banning the student activists, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities declared that all detained students would be allowed to take exams while awaiting detention.
Wednesday violent protests broke out at two private universities in Cairo in response to jail terms handed down to student protesters from those schools.