Saturday, November 13, 2010

Egypt: Respect court ruling against police presence on university campuses

It is no secret that human rights in Egypt is nothing to write home about. Since the imposition of Emergency Law in 1981, Egyptians have suffered violations of basic, fundamental and inalienable rights and freedoms, including freedom to hold and expression opinions, right to privacy and confidentiality of correspondence, freedom of association, right to free, fair and speedy trial, right to life, freedom from torture, just to name a few. Under Egypt's 29-year old "state of emergency", the police enjoy extensive powers and crack down on civilians with impunity. Continued police presence in public places, including university campuses, is reportedly typical.

A video published by CNN on 11 November 2010 highlights the ills of Emergency Law in Egypt and clearly captures unprecedented police presence on the campus of Cairo University. Watch...

The fact that someone interrupted the above CNN video coverage by covering the lense of the camera is testament to the high level of repression and press censorship in Egypt.

Police presence on University campuses does not create a condusive atmosphere for studies. Besides, university students are genuinely worried since police brutality is not uncommon in Egypt: in June 2010, 28-year old Khaled Mohammed Said was brutally killed in Alexandria. Egyptian authorities should respect the Supreme Court ruling against police presence on university campuses. Continued massive police presence on university campuses is attributable to a police state, and screams repression.

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