Ancient Islamic University, Al-Azhar, Accused of Covering Up Female Rape Incident on Campus

Published March 26th, 2019 - 10:58 GMT
Female protesters at Al Azhar University in Assuit protesting the officials' cover up of their colleague's rape story. (Photo Credit: Horrya Press website)
Female protesters at Al Azhar University in Assuit protesting the officials' cover up of their colleague's rape story. (Photo Credit: Horrya Press website)

Hundreds of female students of Egypt's Al-Azhar University in Assiut city branch, are facing a threat of being dismissed from college for protesting against university officials accused of covering up the rape of a student on campus two weeks ago.

The story has reportedly taken place on March 18. According to eyewitnesses from the university campus, screams were heard at 6 pm from a nearby park within the university compound. The sounds are believed to come from a student from the Arabic language faculty who had been assaulted and raped.

She was later found with her clothes ripped and bleeding. She died after being transferred to hospital.

Accordingly, the attacker was seen escaping the place by climbing over the compound wall.

In the aftermath of the victim’s death, university students demanded officials to take serious action and protect girls from similar incidents might take place as a result of the university negligence.

But officials at the university considered the world’s oldest Islamic learning institution denied rumors circulating the internet and media over the incident and claimed the girl has traveled home for a holiday with her parents. Protesting students confirmed that officials have made a deal with the victim’s family restraining them from telling the truth.

Translation: “[University] administration released a press release that the girl traveled and was not present in the city and when her friend discredited it, they dismissed her and threatened anyone who would speak would be dismissed. Girls went on protests demanding their colleague’s right while security officials surrounded the campus and prevented them from leaving the campus. Even the university campus is not safe for girls.”

The university has also published a press release discrediting the rumors claiming it only aims to “spread confusion and panic” among students while it is all “false lies”.

Meanwhile, discussions about the incident were banned and a voice recording which is claimed to be for the university’s Vice President, Osama Al-Raouf threatened students with dismissal and legal actions for spreading “rumors” on social media.

The government-controlled media outlets in Egypt have also launched a fierce attack against the protesters and the faculty members at Al-Azhar University, Assuit branch accusing them of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the current government’s bitter rival.

On social media, videos of the protests were widely shared on social media.

Hashtag #حق_طالبه_جامعه_الازهر_فين [Where is the right of Al-Azhar University student?] has widely circulated Egyptian social media with more students talking about it demanding the truth.

Translation: “whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.”

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