Tear gas and mass arrests greet returning students in Egypt

Video: Security forces attack students at the Faculty of Engineering in Alexandria (published 14 October 2014)

Egyptian and international human rights organisations condemned a violent crackdown by the authorities on Egyptian campuses this week. According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), nearly 130 students have been arrested in recent days, in a operation described by Human Rights Watch as a “a pre-emptive strike on free speech and free assembly”.

Around 900 students are already in jail, and ten have joined a wave of hunger strikes protesting at long periods of detention without trial and harsh sentences. During the last academic year, security forces’ attempts to crush dissent turned campuses into battlegrounds.

What you can do:

  • Pass a resolution in your student union or campus trade union condemning the repression on Egyptian universities. Model motion here
  • Send a letter of protest to the Egyptian authorities via the Egyptian embassy in your country
  • Join the campaign in solidarity with the hunger strikers here
  • Read more on the background to the struggle for academic freedoms in Egypt here