Joint Press Release by Amnesty International Canada and the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
25 January 2015
Several student unions in Canadian universities across Canada have adopted a statement of solidarity “with Egyptian students’ right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly”, and to a “campus environment that is free from fear, intimidation and police abuse.”
The statement, signed by Ryerson Students’ Union, University of Regina Students’ Union, University of Victoria Students’ Society, University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union Executive Committee, Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association, and Post Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University, called on the Canadian Government, civil society and human rights groups to exert all possible pressure on the Egyptian authorities to “drop all charges and immediately and unconditionally release all students arrested solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.” The statement was co-drafted by Amnesty International Canada and the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD).
“We support Egyptian Students and their right to attend post-secondary education without fear or intimidation,” said Devon Peters, President of University of Regina Students’ Union. According to Amnesty International reports, this academic year witnessed at least 90 students injured and some 200 arrested, and at least one student was killed during police force raids on university campuses in Egypt. “Universities are places where values such as freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas should be held in the highest regard,” said Greg Atkinson, Director of External Relations of University of Victoria Students’ Society. “We stand behind the students in Egypt who are being denied these fundamental rights,” he added.