High school student protest dispersed at Education Ministry

Security forces dispersed a protest by high school students near the Education Ministry on Wednesday, forcing them to move to a new protest location at Mounira Preparatory School in Sayeda Zeinab.

Some students said they planned to protest outside the Journalists Syndicate headquarters, also in downtown Cairo. Among the banners raised aloft were some demanding the minister's resignation and others refusing to retake exams.

Tight security measures were imposed around the Education Ministry in downtown Cairo after hundreds of high school students gathered there on Monday to protest against the cancelation and postponement of a number of exams. They were also demanding the dismissal of the education minister.

A security cordon was imposed around the ministry's main gate on Falaky Street in anticipation of more protests by students. The street was blocked off with steel barriers to prevent the passage of traffic.

Cairo Security Directorate deployed uniformed police in Falaky Street, while plain-clothes security personnel were scattered around the area. There was also tight security around the Saad Zaghloul metro station, located near the ministry, with passengers' belongings searched on leaving the station.

A security source stressed that the security measures were aimed at preventing any assault on public institutions, and not to arrest students.

The same source added that several students were presented from reaching the Cabinet headquarters and Qasr al-Aini Street during protests. The security source denied the arrest of students although the protest was illegal and without a permit.

However, the Freedoms Committee of the Journalists Syndicate alleged that security forces had assaulted journalists covering the high school students' protests. The committee said the security forces were using their traditional methods of preventing journalists from doing their job.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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