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Egypt’s prosecutor general orders release of April 6 Movement founder

Youth movement leader Ahmed Maher is ordered released Saturday after a day in detention

El-Sayed Gamaledine , Saturday 11 May 2013
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Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered Saturday the release of recently-detained founder of the April 6 Youth Movement Ahmed Maher.

The release decision reportedly came after a defense legal memo regarding Maher’s case was handed to the prosecutor general.

Maher was arrested Friday afternoon upon arrival at Cairo Airport from Vienna following a political trip in the United States. It was reported he would be held for four days pending investigations.

An interior ministry official said that Maher was detained based on an arrest warrant issued by the prosecutor general on accusations of inciting protests in front of the interior minister's residence in March, according to the state-run MENA news agency.

On 29 March, four members of the April 6 Youth Movement were arrested and charged with rioting and resisting authorities after security forces dispersed a protest held by the movement at the residence of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in New Cairo.

The protesters held up women's underwear and banners accusing the ministry of "prostituting" itself to the Morsi regime. One month later, a New Cairo court ordered the release of the four members. However, it was unclear whether or not the charges against them had been dropped.

Following Maher's arrest Friday, members of the youth movement staged an impromptu demonstration in front of President Mohamed Morsi's private residence in the district of New Cairo on the outskirts of the city Friday night.

The April 6 Youth Movement had supported President Morsi in the June 2012 presidential elections against Mubarak-era candidate Ahmed Shafiq. However, the movement has been increasingly critical of Morsi's policies, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood leader of betraying his pro-revolution campaign promises.

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