The government’s actions are raising fears of a return to an approach that prevailed before Egypt’s 2011 revolution, with security forces harassing and intimidating students and professors in the name of national security.
A student protester was killed on Thursday in clashes at Cairo University between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and security forces, after police fired tear gas and buckshot at demonstrators. The supporters of toppled President Mohammed Morsi held a rally Thursday to denounce a harsh court verdict against a group of young female protesters. A court in Egypt has sentenced 21 female supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to 11 years in prison.
Human rights groups criticised the sentences and students have encouraged several demostrations to protest with one campaigner describing the verdict as madness. The women and girls had taken part in an early morning demonstration in support of Mr Morsi.
At Cairo University last weekend hundreds of students from Cairo University staged a march in the square outside the university´s gates, and were dispersed by police using water cannon and tear gas.
The government passed a law last Sunday (November 24) restricting demonstrations. The government says a protest law is essential in dealing with the recent unrest.
Last week, the cabinet issued a decision allowing security forces to enter university campuses without requiring permission from the university heads or the general prosecution, as was previously mandated.