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Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma detained 4 days pending investigations

Egyptian prosecution slams prominent activist Ahmed Douma with four days detention pending investigations over protest in central Cairo, issues arrest warrant against two other prominent activists

Ahram Online, Tuesday 3 Dec 2013
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File photo: Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma stands behind bars during his trial at the New Cairo court, on the outskirts of Cairo June 3, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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Central Cairo prosecution on Tuesday slammed Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma with four days detention, pending investigations over charges of stirring chaos, acts of thuggery and resisting security forces.

The charges concern Douma's participation in Saturday's protest in front of Abdeen Court in downtown Cairo in solidarity with Ahmed Maher, the founder of the 6 April youth movement who was turning himself in to authorities.

Scuffles erupted between demonstrators and police until security forces dispersed the unauthorised gathering.

The prosecution also issued arrest warrants for Mohamed Adel and Haitham Mohamedein, leading figures in the April 6 Youth movement and the Revolutionary Socialists, respectively. Mohamedein's arrest warrant was noted on the Facebook page of the Revolutionary Socialists. The labour lawyer is wanted over charges of inciting protests and riots during a demonstration organised on November 26 in front of the Shura Council.

Privately-owned Arabic newspaper Al-Shorouk reported that nine others activists are connected with the warrant, but did not give their names.

A newly-issued protest law entitles security forces to disperse gatherings that have not been previously approved. They are also allowed to ban protests deemed to pose a threat to public order. Individuals who break the law are subject to jail terms and fines. Pro-democracy activists have organised several protests in defiance of the law.

Douma was arrested at his home on Thursday and announced his arrest via his Twitter account.

In April, Douma was detained for calling president Mohamed Morsi a killer and a criminal. He later said he was fined LE20,000 in the case.

An activist since the Mubarak era, Douma was also arrested in 2012 –in the time of rule by a military council– following clashes with soldiers outside the Cabinet building near Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Since the passing of the controversial protest law, several activists have been arrested for organising or taking part in unauthorised rallies, among them renowned blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah.

Also on Tuesday, Kasr Al-Ainy prosecution ordered four days of detention for 23 protesters, five of whom were minors, concerning charges of inciting riots, blocking roads and holding a protest without official authorisation. They were arrested during clashes that erupted Sunday when security forces dispersed hundreds of Islamist student protesters who had gathered in Tahrir Square to decry the police's killing of a Cairo University student last week.

It was the first time Islamists had occupied the highly symbolic square, which has remained a venue for secular protests since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

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