A stand of solidarity was organised on Wednesday by students and professors at the American University in Cairo (AUC) for detained student Ibrahim Tamer Ibrahim, known as Bebo, calling for his immediate release.
Bebo, who is a student at the Faculty of Engineering, was arrested on 24 April 2016 when he was at the airport departing for Athens. AUC’s Student Union had organised a spring break trip.
One of his classmates Mariam Arafat told Daily News Egypt that the stand for solidarity is simply a peaceful demonstration calling for Bebo’s release. However, if he is not at least referred to trial by Saturday, the students will escalate matters.
“This stand of solidarity is not something radical. We are asking for the detention renewals to cease and for Bebo’s immediate and unconditional release,” Arafat said.
According to Arafat, Bebo was also arrested on 15 April while walking near the Press Syndicate, but he was released shortly after. The police raided his home on 23 April again to arrest him but he was at the airport by then, therefore police went to arrest him there.
Omnia Farrag, another student at AUC told Daily News Egypt that while the main demands of the stand is the immediate release of Bebo, it also calls on the university to provide legal support to its students. The university administration is allegedly somewhat lacking when it comes to protecting its students.
“The university didn’t take any action against what happened to the Italian student, Giulio Regeni. We don’t want this to happen to Bebo,” Farrag said.
Bebo was arrested on charges of attempting to flee the country, inciting violence, calling for unpermitted protests, and vandalism, among many other charges.
Furthermore, he was arrested during the nationwide security raids that took place before 25 April, these raids were an attempt to thwart the scheduled protests to demonstrate against the transfer of sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia.
Photos by Jihad Abaza