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Criminal court rejects challenge to Abu Douma detention

Judge dismisses petition against Abu Douma's detention, rules to keep prominent activist behind bars another 15 days

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Jan 2012
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A Cairo criminal court on Thursday rejected a petition presented by political activist Ahmed Abu Douma against his continued detention and that of nine other activists currently held by authorities. The activists all face charges of inciting violent clashes last month between anti-government protesters and security forces.

The court has ruled that the activists remain in detention for another 15 days pending further investigation.

Abu Douma presented the petition to the court earlier this week. The petition challenges earlier decisions made by magistrate Abdel Monein Kady, appointed by the justice ministry to investigate last month’s clashes.

In late December, Abu Douma, during a televised interview, confessed to inciting anti-government protesters against security forces and throwing Molotov cocktails. Abu Douma subsequently denied having attacked security personnel.

The activist, a member of the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement, was arrested on 13 January on charges of inciting violence against the army and encouraging vandalism of public property.

Dozens of protesters have held demonstrations in recent weeks to express solidarity with the detained activist.

In mid-December, anti-government protesters clashed with military personnel after attempts by the latter to break up a weeks-long sit-in by activists outside Egypt’s cabinet building in downtown Cairo. The violent attacks that ensued resulted in the death of at least 16 civilians and hundreds of injuries.

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