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Student denied university housing as punishment for opinions expressed on his blog

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the exclusion of blogger Ahmed Abdel Kawi from the lists of students eligible for university housing, despite his meeting all the necessary conditions, because he has voiced his opinions publicly on his blog ( http://akeedinegypt.blogspot.com ).

Adel Kawi was born in the governorate of Fayoum and is a third-year journalism student in the faculty of mass communication at Cairo University. He obtained a B+ in his first two years of study at the university and has lived the whole time in university housing since his family home is located approximately 90 km from Cairo.

At the beginning of the academic year, Ahmed applied for student housing in the same way as he had done previously, according to the housing regulations, but his application was not approved. This is the form of punishment that he has received for his outspoken blog. Abdel Kawi should have been staying in the student residences at Cairo University for the last 10 days, but he is, in fact, still homeless.

"The civil activities of the blogger, student Ahmed Abdel Kawi, should not interfere with his right to student accommodation. Every citizen has the right to express his opinions and ideas, as guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution and international conventions," stated ANHRI's Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression.

ANHRI stands as strongly against both this unlawful measure taken by the university and the blatant intervention in university affairs by the state security forces. ANHRI urges the university to maintain the independence of academic institutions and end the complicity with state security forces regarding the students' legal rights. It also calls for the student to be allowed to return to his residence in university housing.

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