The students of Free Aleppo University continued today their series of protests against the Salvation Government that is trying to by all means at hand to seize control over the administration of the university and all its faculties located in the western countryside of Aleppo and Idlib. The government has issued many decisions, including the appointment of Ibrahim Al Hamoud as the head of the university instead of its current head Yassin Khalifa, and the release of a signature and stamp that must be put in every document or it will be considered illegal and valueless.
The violations of the Salvation Government against the university has been met with a series of protests by the students and teachers, which have have been ongoing for ten days now. One of the protests was held on Wednesday 03 January by the students of the faculty of literature who protested against the visit of the HTS-appointed head Ibrahim Hamoud to the faculty with the aim of forcing its staff on signing a document denoting that they must only deal with the government. More protests preceded this one and they were held on Thursday by the students of the faculty of political science to express their rejection of the government issued decisions.
In addition, as a response to the abuses of the government, on 1 January, the permanency in the faculty of law was suspended for five days.
It should be pointed out that the protests began on 24 December by the holding of a peaceful protest by the students of the university during which they condemned the interference of the government and its attempt to dominate over it. In the following day, all students of the faculties held a protest after the government issued a decision that demanded the handing over of the office of the head of the university to it. In the same context, permanency was suspended in all faculties and institutes in the towns of Al Dana and Sarmadah in rural Idlib. More protests were held on 26 December to express disproval of the political interference of the government in the affaires of the administration of the university.
On one of the students confirmed to Idlib24 that HTS attempted to disperse the protest by the deployment of its masked fighters to the protest, who then inspected those students and all cars stationed at the location of the protest, which was carried out during the presence of the government-linked minister of education. The latter was expelled from the protesters who were shouting slogans denouncing the HTS-issued decisions and confirming that they would not adhere to them, no matter what. He added, ‘ We just been liberated from Assad to end up being slaves of the Salvation Government’.
The success of HTS in controlling Free Aleppo University poses a threat to education upon which thousands of students are relied in order to grant their future. HTS has issued many decisions that threaten education, including the privatization of the university and increasing the taxes on the registration process.
On the other hand, the president of the Interim Government issued a decision to relocate the office of the university from Idlib province to the town of Bashqatin in western Aleppo, after the Salvation Government issued a decision indicating that it will control the university.