Protest law used to arrest April 6 founder Ahmed Maher

The founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, Ahmed Maher, has been detained overnight pending receipt of National Security records on him by the Qasr al-Nil prosecution office, state-owned news portal Al Ahram reported Saturday.

Maher is accused of attacking a criminal investigations officer, Emad Tahoun, and stealing his walkie-talkie, according to Al Ahram. It is also alleged that Maher took part in an illegal assembly, blocked traffic and called for a protest without obtaining Interior Ministry permission.

Both Maher and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah are alleged to have called for a protest against the military trial of civilians outside Shura Council on Tuesday, in violation of a controversial new law passed Sunday requiring police permission for protests to be obtained three days in advance.

The police violently broke up the demonstration and arrested over 60 individuals. Twenty-five men remain in custody, in addition to Abd El Fattah and Maher. 

Maher turned himself in to the prosecution office on Saturday after a warrant for his arrest was issued on Wednesday. A warrant was also issued for the arrest of activist Alaa Abd El Fattah on the same day. 

Abd El Fattah was arrested late Thursday night when armed police raided his home and assaulted both him and his wife, Manal Bahey El Din Hassan. Prior to his arrest, Abd El Fattah had formally notified the authorities of his intention to turn himself in to the public prosecution office. He is currently being held in detention for four days for investigation into the charges against him.

While Abd El Fattah did take part in Tuesday’s protest, it is unclear whether or not Maher actually attended the action, which was organized by members of the No to Military Trials of Civilians lobby group. 


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