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Student hunger strike in solidarity with Egypt

first_imgMore than twenty Oxford students are taking part in a rolling hunger strike as part of the Egypt Solidarity Initiative’s 1,000 Hours of Hunger campaign. The campaign is protesting against the repressive laws used to criminalise dissent and detain activists, destroying the freedoms that the Egyptian people fought for in the 2011 revolution.During 5th and 6th Weeks, students are taking 24 hours of symbolic action to express their anger at the loss of basic human rights of free speech and free assembly for political activists and Egyptian citizens alike. There are over 140 political prisoners currently on hunger strike in Egypt and the 1,000 Hours of Hunger campaign is showing solidarity with them. The strike started on 22nd September at SOAS and has already proved that solidarity — according to the Egypt Solidarity Initiative website — “makes a real difference” with three activists, including Alaa Adel Fattah, who launched the hunger strike campaign in August, being released on bail on 15th September.However, according to Egyptian human rights activists, around 40,000 people have been detained since July 2013, many without charge or trial. For example, Sanaa Seif — a 20 year old student — was arrested on 21st June whilst peacefully protesting the jailing of her brother and 23 others for 15 years. Those that remain incarcerated, in often appalling conditions, are evidence of the assault on civil liberties being conducted by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s administration.Amelia Cooper, an Oxford University Amnesty International member taking part in the hunger strike, told Cherwell that she is taking action out of a “shared sense of dismay [which] is rooted entirely in the audacious manner in which the Egyptian administration is abusing the rights of its citizens.”She added, “The object of the strike is twofold — we want to raise awareness, as well as demonstrating support and solidarity to the strikers in Egypt.”Alex Marshall, who is also involved in the Campaign to Close Campsfield and Oxford Migrant Solidarity, said he was striking because of his disappointment after seeing how the achievements of the 2011 Egyptian revolution have been “gradually and viciously crushed” in the intervening years.He explained, “There is dirt behind the daydream of peaceful and democratic societies such as ours that we take for granted – part of any expression of political principles is a willingness to look at that dirt, or briefly experience it in solidarity”.However, the campaign has been questioned by some members of the University. An anonymous second year told Cherwell, “Although I can appreciate what the campaigners are doing at the moment, I don’t exactly see how effective a group of Oxford students going hungry for a few hours will have any impact on events in Egypt. Maybe I’m just being cynical though!”The campaign is also attempting to show solidarity with prisoners of conscience such as Mohamed Soltan, who is currently in intensive care after slipping into a coma, having been on strike for over 280 days. Along with numerous others, the hope is to reverse the trend towards an ever increasingly damaged civil society in Egypt, and the release of arbitrarily detained political prisoners.last_img read more


One of Brisbane’s oldest and most prestigious homes has now hit the market

first_imgHistoric Cintra House is for sale.ONE of Brisbane’s oldest and most prestigious homes, which was once home to a Queensland Premier, has hit the market.The massive Bowen Hills mansion, known as Cintra House, at 23 Boyd St, Bowen Hills, is one of the oldest residential homes in Brisbane and is perched high above the suburb with river and city views.When it was built in 1863, there was little else around it. Now surrounded by other homes the property, which is on a massive 3050 square metre block of land, is on the Queensland Heritage Register.The home has been owned by the Brown family since 2001. With views like this you would want to spend plenty of time outside.“For us the day we signed the contract on this house really was ​one of the best days of our lives.’’​The home was designed by architect Benjamin Backhouse and was once owned by former Queensland Premier, Boyd Dunlop Morehead. In the past it was also used as a convent and during World War II the American army used a bungalow on the property. The house is on a massive block of land.It was also owned in the seventies by well known Brisbane builder Noel Kratzman.Property records reveal it last sold in 2001 for $2.1 million.It has six bedrooms and three bathrooms.The two-storey sandstone home is in an area of Bowen Hills known as Heritage Hill and has 300 degree uninterrupted views to Brisbane City, the river, Hamilton Hill and the Gateway Bridge.Inside is a formal dining and reception room which has ornate 3.6 metre high ceilings and a marble fireplace. There is a tennis court and tennis house and swimming pool.Ray White New Farm ​principal Matt Lancashire along with agents Josh Brown (who is related to the owner) and Ruby Kiriyama are marketing the property.Mr Lancashire described it as a “commanding and prestigious family home”.It will be sold through an expressions of interest campaign which closes on November 24 at 5pm.Mr Lancashire said after just one day he had received strong interest on the property. Stefanie Brown at the historic Cintra House which she is selling. Picture: Peter WallisOwner Stefanie Brown said it had served as a base for them and their three sons and daughter.“We started with a very ambitious list of what we wanted which everyone described as unrealistic,’’ she said.“(It had to be) near acreage, close to the city, needing city views, with pool and tennis court, and a yard big enough for the family Christmas cricket match,” Ms Brown said.While it fit the bill then, the family now spend much of their time in “horse country’’ outside of Brisbane so they have decided to sell. One of the six bedrooms in the historic house.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by “It’s been tougher than I’d like to admit,’’ Ms Brown said.She knew that once sold they wouldn’t be able to buy another one like it.“​I challenge anyone to find such a unique part of Brisbane, there ​are but a few options,” she said.last_img read more