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Egypt turns up heat on Sudan to release students

Nabila Makram will meet with Sudanese officials to discuss current investigations [YouTube]

Date of publication: 29 March, 2016

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Egypt's immigration minister Nabila Makram is visiting Khartoum to negotiate the release of Egyptian students detained over leaked high school exams in the Sudanese capital.

Egypt's minister of immigration and expatriate affairs landed in Khartoum on Tuesday to look into the arrest of Egyptians in the Sudanese capital over allegations of leaking high school exam papers, local media reported on Monday.

Nabila Makram will meet with Sudanese officials to discuss current investigations and possible ways to release the 32 detainees, including 26 students and some parents.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid said in a statement on Monday that the Egyptian detainees, who were arrested last week, have not been charged yet.

Abu Zaid explained that the arrest of the Egyptians followed the detention of students from other nationalities, who were accused of buying the exams.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has also asserted the importance of communicating with Sudanese authorities in coordination with the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum to resolve the issue and be informed constantly of developments.

Mohamed Helmy, the uncle of one of the detained students, told The Cairo Post on Monday that some of the students' relative had reported being unable to contact their children since their arrest.

Helmy added that his nephew was taken from outside the school, while some others were taken from homes, dismissing the accusations as "illogical".

Hundreds of students from the Egyptian governorate of Kafr al-Sheikh, the hometown of at least 22 of the detained students, have sought in recent years to obtain their high school degree from Sudan, as they believe this would get them higher scores that would enable them to enroll at top faculties.

However, Egypt's higher education ministry noticed the trend and pledged to "control the violation" after discovering that many of those with Sudanese high school degrees applying for university had already received a degree from Egypt.

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