April 6 founder says political climate 'worse than under Mubarak'

Ahram Online , Sunday 12 May 2013

After being arrested at Cairo airport, April 6 Movement founder Ahmed Maher says that the only difference between Mohamed Morsi and deposed Hosni Mubarak is the 'religious tint'

Ahmed Maher
April 6 Founder Ahmed Maher attacks President Mohamed Morsi's practices, following his arrest at Cairo International Airport for incitement to violence at interior minister's home in March (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic)

Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher stated late Saturday: "What is taking place now is worse than what was being experienced during Mubarak’s time."

Maher’s comments on the private Al-Nahar channel’s Akher Al-Nahar programme came a day after being arrested when he landed at the Cairo International Airport from Austria en route from the United States.

"The only difference between Mohamed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak is the religious tint," asserted Maher during his phone-in to the channel.

He reflected on his place of detention, the Aqrab Prison, which he said is in exactly the same state as it was during the Mubarak era.

Maher decried that all those who decided to put their differences aside and support Morsi in the 2012 presidential elections against Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq (including Maher himself) have been viciously deceived.     

Police arrested Maher on Friday for "inciting protests" outside the interior minister’s Cairo residence in March.

More than simply calling for protests, Maher was arrested for the nature of the protest on 29 March at the home of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.

Protesters held up banners – along with women's undergarments – accusing the ministry of "prostituting" itself to President Mohamed Morsi's administration.

Four other April 6 members were arrested and charged with rioting and resisting police after security forces dispersed the protest.

Maher was, however, ordered released from prison on Saturday, pending investigations by the Prosecutor-General, as the charges against him remain in place.

On Saturday, political analyst and member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Emad Gad, and veteran leftist writer, Amina Shafiq, were stopped at the Cairo International Airport because their names allegedly resemble those of listed terrorists.

Gad told Ahram Arabic news gate Saturday that this was a clear message to him and Shafiq, as they had both travelled in an out of Egypt for many years and this was the first time they had been subjected to such treatment.    

Gad, who is also a member of the opposition umbrella group the National Salvation Front, condemned what he claimed to be flagrant violations by the authorities targeting the youth and public figures.

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