CAIRO, EGYPT — The funeral was held on Friday for a Cairo University student killed by police during clashes with protesters on Thursday.
First year engineering student Mohamed Rida was reportedly killed as police dispersed the protest by hundreds of university students using water cannon, tear gas and gunshot.
The students, many of them supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, were protesting against harsh new restrictions on the right to protest recently adopted by the military-backed interim government that ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
Many of them were particularly incensed by harsh severe prison sentences handed down to female protesters in Alexandria on Wednesday.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at the El Sayeda Nafisa mosque in Old Cairo today to march in Rida's funeral procession, with many of them chanting that Rida had died as a 'martyr' for the cause of freedom.
An Alexandria court jailed 14 women for 11 years for obstructing traffic during a protest by supporters of Morsi that took place late last month. Seven others under the age of 18 were sent to a juvenile prison.
A recently adopted law places severe restrictions on the right of Egyptians to demonstrate and has led to daily protests in opposition by liberal activists as well as Morsi supporters.
Mohamed Ahmed, who also took part in yesterday's demonstrations, said that the police had trapped students inside the university.
“As soon as the police from the Interior Ministry arrived they surrounded the College of Engineering, and encircled the students who were inside and began firing tear gas at them. We were in the next building complex, the one near it and they fired tear gas at us as well. They fired on everyone, and pellets as well. I heard that he [Mohamed Rida] died when he was shot,” he said.
Morsi was ousted by the military in July, following mass protests against him. A harsh crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has followed, killing more than 1,000 protesters and leading to the imprisonment of thousands.