Yesterday , Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression ( AFTE ) obtained three court sentences from the administrative court in Cairo to cancel the implementation of the decision by the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Ain Shams University depriving three students from taking exams in two subjects of the first term, January 2011. Exams were scheduled to start on the 13th of January.
The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Ain Shams University had issued a decision in early December banning three students from sitting for the January term exams in all subjects. The three students have been interrogated for distributing leaflets on campus calling for political change. When AFTE first filed a complaint against the Dean’s decision the punishment was reduced to two subjects instead of all. AFTE lawyers decided to pursue the case further, since even in its milder form, the punishment still constitutes a violation of the rights of students to express their views on campus.
The three cases registered as 8776, 8777 and 8778/65 were processed in a single session on the 19th of December 2010, where AFTE explained the dangerous implications of postponing the case on the career of the students, if the rulings were made after beginning of the exams scheduled to begin on the 13th of January 2011. The court accepted AFTE lawyers’ request and ruled the cancellation of the Dean’s decision in the same session.
AFTE believes that the court ruling constitutes a victory for students’ liberties, since harassment of politically active students on campus has become a systematic policy taking several forms, ranging from physical aggression on students, to their arrest and referral to the prosecution and finally attempting to destroy their academic career by ordering those punitive measures.
Finally, AFTE calls upon AIn Shams administration to abide by the law and the rights of students to freedom of expression and execute the court ruling and enable the students to sit for all their exams without further harassment.