Al-Azhar University students walk past riot police during a protest, October 12, 2014. Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
CAIRO, Jun 27 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egyptian court ruled on Monday that high school students detained pending trial may not be prevented from sitting their exams.
The verdict, issued by an administrative court in the coastal city of Alexandria, requires the prison administration to enable jailed students to study and to sit exams.
The court also annulled a decision previously issued by al-Azhar, the main reference of Sunni Islam which also runs a number of Sunni Islamic schools across Egypt, to expel a student from his school in the Beheira province after he was arrested and held in a juvenile penal institution in Cairo pending trial in a political case.
Human rights groups have often expressed concerns over the detention of minors in the country especially in political cases.
In June 2014, several rights organisations said in statement that “48 children, aged 14-17, most of them preparatory and secondary school students [were] held ... in connection with political cases.”
“Most were arrested at demonstrations , while others were arbitrarily swept-up in the vicinity of protests,” according to the rights groups, which included the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression.