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Students at Cairo University calling for dean's resignation attacked by his supporters

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, March 21st, 2011 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) today said that Samy Abdulaziz, Dean of Mass Communications at Cairo University and an NDP supporter, should step down immediately after his supporters used violence against students and professors at a recent sit-in calling for his resignation.

Abdulaziz, who is a known supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak and his son Gamal, is widely resented by students and staff.

The mass communications students at the university had started the peaceful sit-in to call for the dean to step down. Their calls became more insistent, however, when supporters of the dean attempted to bribe some of the protestors and then began to assault and threaten a number of professors who expressed their support for the students' demands, including Awatef Abdul Rahman, a renowned mass communications professor in the Arab world.

The journalists' syndicate has filed a complaint with the prosecutor general demanding an investigation into the assault on Abdul Rahman and another syndicate member, including threats to her life.

"Samy Abdulaziz, like many other followers of the old regime, cannot understand democratic choices. Supporters of Mubarak and his sons still resort to the same old practices of threatening students and undermining them and this will only lead to a very pathetic career end for Samy," said ANHRI.

"The Legal Aid Unit at ANHRI will provide all necessary legal support for mass comm students who were attacked for expressing their opinion as well as all college staff who were harassed. We support their right to elected management. Independent media can never exist under a biased administration whose only credit is being well connected to an ousted dictator," added ANHRI.

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