Students in Egypt who support deposed president Mohamed Morsi have intensified their anti-government demonstrations in recent weeks, staging strikes and clashing with police on university campuses -- where Islamists have deep roots -- as security forces clamp down on dissent, the Washington Post website reports today (November 30, 2013).
The authorities have adopted a tough line in response, granting police the authority to enter college campuses without warrants to quell protests. On November 28, security forces firing tear gas and water cannons broke up the latest big rally at Cairo University, setting off clashes that left one person dead.
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.
Since mid-November, police have used tear gas, batons, and birdshot to disperse near-daily protests against the military-appointed government at universities in Cairo, the Nile Delta, and Upper Egypt in the south. One student at Cairo's al-Azhar University was killed November 21, and dozens more have been arrested.