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Thabahtoona to stage sit-in in front of Higher Education Ministry today

National Campaign for Defending Students’ Rights to protest complaints filed against Thabahtoona Coordinator Fakher Daas

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Jan 03,2018 - Last updated at Jan 03,2018

AMMAN — Under the slogan "continuing our struggle", the National Campaign for Defending Students’ Rights (Thabahtoona) has called on students to participate in a  sit-in set to be staged on Thursday in front of the Higher Education Ministry to protest the complaints filed against Thabahtoona Coordinator Fakher Daas.

The complaints were filed after the administration of Al Balqa' Applied University decided to raise the diploma fees in most engineering specialties by 400 per cent in January, which was followed by a large protest carried out by Thabahtoona comprising a social media campaign, press conferences, sit-ins and vigils. 

"I don't think this case is as much about me as an individual as it is about a campaign that is bothering the officials in the Higher Education Ministry, because we are fighting against the policies that they are implementing in order to continue the privatisation of the higher education system," Daas told The Jordan Times in a recent interview, stating that it is his "right as a citizen and a member of a licensed Jordanian party to protest about such issues".

The stand also confirms the campaign´s rejection to the role played by some official universities, which are "supposed to be beacons of science, research centres and scientific discoveries, and a major station to promote the concepts of human rights and public freedoms", according to the protest call published on Thabahtoona´s Facebook page. 

"They have tried to silence us and stop our achievements, and this is why we have to protest and keep doing what we are doing to stop these kind of policies," Daas added. 

Student groups from several universities across the Kingdom issued a press statement on Tuesday denouncing the complaints against Daas, stating that "this action is targeting not only Thabahtoona, but all the students and the Jordanian society, where there is almost no home without at least one student enrolled at the university".

The statement also stressed that the campaign has always "stood shoulder to shoulder" with the student forces in their quest to fight for the rights of students and to develop the educational system, expressing support for Thabahtoona and rejection "of the oppressive minorities".

 

"We affirm our continued defence of students' rights and the rejection of anything that distorts the educational process or monopolises the education of a particular group," the statement noted, concluding that "the student forces also affirm their belief in the fairness and justice of the Jordanian legal system".

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