Egyptian Security Forces Have to Stop the Violent Break up of Peaceful Assembly “Security Forces Disperse March of Master’s and Doctoral Degree Holders Using Force”

Cairo: 13 July, 2016

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly condemn the Egyptian security forces’ dispersal of a peaceful march set by the Master’s and Doctoral degree holders in front of the Cabinet’s headquarters yesterday (Tuesday), the ensuing attack on its participants and the detention of 18 of MA and Ph.D holders.

Yesterday, dozens of Master’s and Doctoral degree holders (graduated in 2015) staged a protest march outside the cabinet’s headquarters in Qasr al-Aini Street, in objection to what they called the procrastination of the Prime Minster and the Parliamentary Speaker in responding to their demands and approving their appointment in the state’s administrative bodies like the previous classes of 2002-2014. The protesters asserted they had received promises from both parties in order to resolve the crisis before the start of May, however nothing has been resolved until now.

The security forces broke up the Master’s and ph.D degree holders protest and beat its participants using batons, leaving one of them injured with bruises around the eye. Moreover, the security arrested 18 of the protesters, including the march coordinator Mohamed Sabry, and took them to Qasr al-Nil Police Station, before they were released in the evening of Tuesday.

Noteworthy, the phenomenon of dispersing the peaceful protests at the hands of the security forces has become more prevalent in recent time. On the 27th of last June, the security bodies prosecuted the Thanaweya Amma (High School) students and used excessive force to break up their protests, staged on June 29, by unnecessarily firing tear gas canisters. Days later, on July 11, the security also banned a press conference for Thanaweya Amma students, which was planned to be held in the Press Syndicate’s headquarters and closed all the roads leading to the syndicate.

The security forces’ using of violence against Master’s degree holders, who are calling for legitimate rights, is a flagrant violation of the right to peaceful assembly, which is considered as one of the forms of opinion expression”, ANHRI said.

It added, “Instead of breaking up their peaceful protests, the Egyptian government has to listen to the demands made by protesters, either from the MA and Ph.D holders or the Thanaweya Amma students.”

ANHRI expressed its full solidarity with the Master’s and ph.D degree holders with respect to their right to voice their opinion and demands using peaceful protest.

ANHRI demanded from the authorities in Egypt to halt their violent dispersal of peaceful protests, set by either the Master’s degree holders or other peaceful protesters, and to respect their right to hold peaceful assemblies. ANHRI also called for respecting the rights enshrined in the constitution and put an end to the measures of stifling the public space.

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