[QODLink]
Middle East

Tahrir Square youth leader arrested in Cairo

Ahmed Maher, a co-founder of the April 6 youth movement, held after addressing US conference.

Last Modified: 10 May 2013 17:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Maher's April 6 movement was instrumental in organising the Tahrir Square protests of 2011 [Reuters]

A leader of one of the youth movements behind Egypt's 2011 uprising has been detained by security forces, officials have told reporters.

Ahmed Maher, co-founder of the pivotal April 6 movement, was held at Cairo airport "based on the orders of the general security department at the interior ministry", a security official told the AFP news agency.

He had just returned from Washington, DC, where he had addressed a New America Foundation conference entitled "Egypt in transition".

His passport was confiscated before he was taken for questioning, according to the official MENA news agency.

Maher stands accused of encouraging Egyptians to protest outside the home of Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, a ministry official told MENA.

Four of the movement's members were arrested after the March demonstration, said spokesperson Amal Sharaf.

"I think they are punishing us and trying to stop us from what we are doing but of course they will not succeed because we will continue," she said.

I think they are punishing us and trying to stop us from what we are doing, but of course they will not succeed - because we will continue.

Amal Sharaf, April 6 movement

Hailed as heroes in the aftermath of the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak, members of the youth-led April 6 group have since reportedly split into two factions.

Analysts say that Maher's detention may provoke a reaction among youth groups, as tensions continue between activists and authorities.

April 6 had supported President Mohamed Morsi during the June presidential elections, but it has since become increasingly vocal in its opposition to the country's leader - who they accuse of pursuing Mubarak's policies and
betraying the revolution that brought him to power.

Two years after Mubarak's ousting, Egypt is still trying to find its footing in a declining economy and often violent protests that have kept away much needed tourist revenues and foreign investments.

A myriad of charges and complaints have been levied in recent months against activists, journalists and TV personalities, including well-known satirist Bassem Youssef, for insulting President Morsi.

Earlier this month, authorities arrested Ahmed Douma, a leading activist, and referred him to court for allegedly insulting the president in a TV interview.

The United States sends $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt each year. Washington officials in March expressed concern that arrest warrants had been issued for political activists.

411

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list