SALMA ASHRAF: Continued repression against students in Egypt

OP-ED:
Salma Ashraf, is the head of Human Rights Monitor Egypt in London and regularly writes for Middle East Observer.
On the International Student’s Day I would like to remind the reader about the facts on the ground for students in Egypt. 
For twenty seven months students have been subjected to enforced disappearances, arrests extrajudicial killings and more with complete disregard to their young age denying them their freedom and any hopes of a future. The violations committed against students include:
 
1: Enforced disappearance
 
Human Rights Monitor, HRM, documented in the first 6 months of 2015, over 128 university and high school students were subjected to enforced disappearance. In August, September and October 90 disappeared including 42 high school students whose whereabouts remain undisclosed with complete disregard to their young age. The number of disappeared students reached 478 including 23 females. 
 
HRM received several complaints confirming students were targeted. HRM documented 3 minors were abducted without justification from cyber cafes after they were stormed namely Abdul Rahman Hafez Ashour 17, who suffers from rheumatism, Mohamed Suleiman Salem 16 and Mustafa Ashraf Zaki el Sheik 17, all second year secondary students. 
 
2: Extrajudicial killings
 
The number of students killed without legal support has reached 245 including 24 killed on university campus. The worst recorded killing was that of Islam Salah el Deen Atito 22 who was killed after being abducted while sitting his end of year tests on May 19th, 2015. HRM had received a complaint from his family stating that their son was abducted from the faculty of Engineering in Ain Shams by security forces and led to an unknown destination. The following day they were surprised to learn through a statement from the interior ministry allowing that their son was killed during an exchange of fire with forces describing him as the first suspect accused in the murder of police officer Wael Tahoun.
 
3: Arbitrary arrest
 
Egyptian securities arrested students males and females alike shifting their lives from campus to prisons and detention centres. According to Human Rights Organizations 4701 university students were arrested including 331 females. Two thousand and four students were released however the rest remain held behind bars and the numbers are rising. Three hundred students were referred to courts with 160 sentences served. Students were subjected to torture ill treatment and medical neglect leading to the death of 7 students in prison. Many others are still suffering from ill treatment. 
 
Student Hassan Ragab  Salouma Hassan Zogheib 21 an Azhar student and member of the student council was served a four year sentence which was later lightened to 3 years in Wady Notron Prison and a 100,000 LE fine suffers from kidney failure after failing to receive the necessary medical care. He also suffers from gout and rheumatism and has been denied treatment despite his family stating they will pay for his medical care. 
 
Student Amr Hosny Ahmed Abdallah 21 a third year English commerce student from Alexandria held at the Montaza 2nd precinct suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. As a result his foot had swelled and because of his diabetes was infected and badly inflamed. His mother has requested he be transferred to the hospital because of his deteriorating health and he was taken to the Abu Qir General Hospital where doctors ordered he remain for proper medical care however the officials refused and he was returned to the police station.
 
4: Arbitrary expulsion
 
Violations continued as 1064 students were expelled from university because of their political stances as students are victims between authorities and the universities’ administrations. These violations began since the new regime assumed power on July 3rd 2013 opposing the youths most particularly high school and university students where many are either pursued or arrested and forces used against them during protests. Abductions, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, torture medical neglect and killing behind bars are also part of the measures used widely against students. University administrations have taken part in the violations using security guards against students and hiring the Falcon security company to oppress students. Security forces have even gone as far as killing students in lecture halls. Authorities have at one stage arrested a young student from school over a logo he had on a ruler.
 
The Egyptian authorities have violated most of the articles in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights including article 2,3,5,7, and 9.
Article 2 reads: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
 
Article 3 reads: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 5 reads: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 7 reads: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 9 reads: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
 
The above articles reveal the extent of the crime that the authorities in Egypt have committed against students which should be punishable by law with all responsible held accountable. For its part HRM calls on the international community to interfere to end the crimes against humanity and against the students in accordance to article 7 of the Roma Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.