Researchers and academics in Egypt risk being arrested, prosecuted, or placed in arbitrary pretrial detention, a report by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has warned.
According to the report, over the past few years, Egypt has witnessed severe abuses against scholars, researchers and professors to prevent them from freely expressing their thoughts and writing articles and papers that may not comply with the narrative of the security system.
"There is a clear confusion between academic work and political opinion," the report said; this led academics and professors to be punished either by imprisonment or dismiss from work which cast doubt over the independence of decisions.
"ANHRI demands the immediate release of all researchers, professors, and academics held in pretrial detention pending political cases, on trial, or were sentenced in connection with opinion cases. And the necessity to stop pursuing researchers and university professors and stop suspecting their intentions by security devices," the rights group said.
It also demanded enhancing the independence of universities and the decisions made by their boards of directors without any interference from security services or putting pressure on them.
"We must ensure that professors have the freedom to express their opinions freely, both inside and outside their academia, without fear or equivocation, as well as supporting researchers' choice of subjects."