AUC Students Call for Colleague’s Release

Mennat Youssef and Gehad Abaza

Students marched across campus demanding the release of Rahim - ANDREW WAHBA

Detained AUC student Ahmed Rahim was released Monday night after being arrested in Tahrir square on Saturday Nov. 19 amidst the first day of clashes between protestors and the police.

AUC students staged a sit-in on Sunday Nov. 20 on campus demanding the administration’s intervention to free Ahmed Rahim, an AUC student detained during the Tahrir protests on Saturday Nov. 19.

The night before, students began circulating messages on Twitter and Facebook that a student was arrested that day after intense clashes broke out in Tahrir square in the afternoon. This event was organized on Facebook after hearing the news of Rahim’s detention.

Several hundreds of students were present, walking from the SSE to the Bartlett Plaza holding posters of Rahim’s picture and chanting against military trials for civilians and military rule. They also called for other AUC students as well as the administration to take action in freeing Rahim.

“Everyone around Egypt should show their support and they don’t have to go to Tahrir to show it. They can do it from wherever they are,” said a student present at the sit-in Basel Hejazi.

Yehia El Masry, Rahim’s friend and who was with him when he was arrested retold The Independent how the events folded.

“Rahim and I took the 5:15 bus from AUC to the Tahrir campus for an event on campus on Saturday. We then went on Asr el Nil street; when we arrived to Tahrir, there were people who were dressed in civilian clothes. We spotted one of our friends she was standing with another girl, and a police officer was rounding them both for arrest. When we approached them the officer detained us too,” said EL Masry.

While the students were being escorted to police, Masry managed to escape and Rahim remained in custody.

“I tried to tell him to get out his university ID and tell them that we were going to attend an event, but it was too late. I later heard from him that he was in the riot police headquarters in Nasr City. That was the last I heard of him,” added El Masry.

The square witnessed a lot of violence from the afternoon, up until the early mornings of Sunday. Rubber bullets and tear gas were being fired at protestors by the police and military, while the protestors were throwing rocks, according to eyewitness accounts.

Nadeem AbdelGawad, another student that was injured that day, was shot in his eye and spent the past days in Kasr el Einy hospital.

“I was hit with a rubber bullet in my eye. Someone lifted me up and they wanted to take me to Monera hospital, but I heard before that at that hospital, the police detain those who are injured or they just leave them without any medical attention. I tried to walk till I got into a taxi and went to the Kasr el Einy,” said AbdelGawad.

“The forces dealt with the protestors brutally and they were intentionally shooting us in the face. I saw the person that was shooting me, and most of the injuries in the hospital were also in the face. Many people lost their eyes,” added AbdelGawad.