The Ministry of Interior announced Tuesday that 3,462 students imprisoned on politically related charges will take their first semester exams administered by special examining committees in prisons across the country. The arrangements have been made in concert with education directorates and universities.
While the Ministry of Interior has stated that many students have been detained on a wide variety of charges, there is an increasing number of students imprisoned over political cases. Egypt’s youth demographic, especially university students, has been at the heart of the opposition movement to the post-30 June government and have faced the punitive measures of the security force’s crackdown.
Mohamed Nagi from Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression’s (AFTE) student observatory told Daily News Egypt that around 1,000 students in detention were political prisoners.
“Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar decided to authorise 3,462 imprisoned students to take this academic year’s semester exams,” the ministry statement read. Nagi challenged the term “authorise”, insisting that the constitution granted education rights to all citizens regardless of their legal status.
“It is not in his power to authorise or prevent,” Nagi said before adding that Prison Authority’s regulations guaranteed the right to education to imprisoned students.