The historical presence of Egyptian State Security on campus has been widely acknowledged by students, faculty and even the administration. Recent publications attest to this insulting relationship between the university’s security apparatus and that of State Security: Hossam el Hamalawy, AUC alumnus and popular blogger at 3arabawy, has written about his detention and torture by State Security in 2000, when SS officers openly boasted of their relationship to – and influence on – the American University in Cairo.
Furthermore, students on campus have repeatedly been subject to interrogation by security personnel over educational material and the content of lectures. Students have also been questioned regarding the actions and events of different AUC approved organizations/clubs.
The AUC administration has, for all intents and purposes, ignored a widespread demand for transparency, and continues to patronize the community, which has a right to become and remain fully informed of corporate transactions and security liaisons operating at AUC. We recognize efforts at reforming university policy on freedom of speech, and the approval of the Speakers’ Corner, as a place for students to raise their voices, yet the administration does not respond to the questions that are posed by the students. The top-down approach of the administration, coupled with its neglect to publicly and officially reveal the extent of its relationship to State Security, signals the administration’s unwillingness to depart from the old regime.
We are in full solidarity with university students nation-wide, and we support the demands of students at GUC, Cairo U, Ain Shams, and other universities, both public and private, throughout Egypt for freedom of speech and assembly and the purging of their administrations from elements of the outgoing regime, be they NDP members or employees and liaisons of State Security. We join the ongoing Egyptian revolution in its call for a national cleansing, and we do not recognize the end of State Security in its restructuring as National Security. All members and loyalists of the outgoing regime and its security apparatus must be removed at once, and held accountable.
It is with deep solidarity and respect for the ongoing Egyptian revolution, the youth and students, and it is with a firm belief that all students deserve a university education that is free of government surveillance and the policing of activities, that we wholeheartedly demand the following:
1) The removal of General Ashraf Kamal from his position as Head of the Security Office at AUC.
2) The removal of Dr Mohammed Dabbour from his position as director of the Office of Student Development.