Violence Increases Against Egyptian Students

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression(AFTE) in Egypt issued a blunt statement concerning the rise in violence against students in Egyptian universities by security forces. AFTE director, Emad Mubarak charged university administrations and police have colluded to brutalize students who challenged those in authority. A total of 68 students have been arrested and detained in custody over the past few months. He noted that in March, 2010, three Alexandria students from the school of commerce were physically assaulted by members of the university administration acting in collaboration with security officers. The students were engaged in raising money to purchase necessary equipment for a university hospital. When they complained, police charged they assaulted a civil servant and were members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo University Professor Abdel-Galil Mostafa argues students are targets of those in authority who fear anyone questioning their power. “Universities are supposed to be a free space for thought, freedom, and expression without restriction within the bounds of the law” but in Egypt, bounds are decided by government in order to perpetuate their power. He also claimed university presidents and deans collaborate with the police and government to stifle free speech.

The USA claims Egypt as its ally in the struggle to foster democracy in the Middle East. Perhaps, Egypt can begin that fight inside Egypt.