Egypt prosecutors send Douma and Maher to criminal court
Ahram Online, Wednesday 4 Dec 2013
Three key activists face criminal charges for breaking the new protest law and assaulting officers


Central Cairo prosecution referred on Wednesday evening activists Ahmed Douma, Ahmed Maher, and Mohamed Adel to criminal court.

The prosecutors charged Ahmed Douma, a prominent long-time revolutionary, of breaking the new protest law by participating in an unauthorised demonstration and assaulting security forces.

Prosecutors also charged Ahmed Maher, the founder of 6 April youth movement, and Mohamed Adel, also a leading member of the group, who is at large, of similar crimes.

Douma and Adel are accused of participation in an unauthorised demonstration last week to show solidarity with Ahmed Maher as he turned himself in to authorities on an arrest warrant.

Maher was turning himself in on charges he also participated on 26 Novemebr in another unauthorised protest against military trials for civilians in the draft constitution.

A newly-issued protest law entitles security forces to disperse gatherings that have not been previously approved. Police 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.

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

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 of the rule of the military council– following clashes with soldiers outside the Cabinet building near Cairo's Tahrir Square.

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