April 6's Ahmed Maher to remain in detention after prior release order

Elsayed Gamal Eldeen, Monday 2 Dec 2013

Prosecutors order the extension of the political activist's detention by four days

Ahmed Maher
Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 movement, turns himself in at Abdeen court in Cairo November 30, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Activist Ahmed Maher, a co-founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, will remain in detention for four days pending investigations on charges related to violating a new protest law, despite an earlier order that he be released.

According to April 6, Maher was sent to Zeinhom court in southern Cairo for questioning on Monday afternoon.

“After Ahmed Maher was given a release order yesterday [Sunday] … he is now surprisingly being questioned without the presence of his lawyers at Zeinhom court on charges of protesting with no authorisation,” wrote the movement on its official Facebook page.

Maher has turned himself in on Saturday during a protest held in front of Abdeen court in downtown Cairo, in defiance of the recently-passed protest law, which bans demonstrations without prior police approval.

An arrest warrant was issued for Maher and for blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, also a well-known activist, last week, on charges of organising a protest on Tuesday against military trials for civilians.

Some 24 male protesters remain in custody since their arrests on Tuesday at the demonstration, after orders to extend their detention by 15 days.

On Sunday afternoon, prosecutors ordered the release of Maher but kept Abdel-Fattah in detention for 15 days pending investigations.

According to an official statement by April 6 on Sunday, Maher refused to acknowledge the order of his release and demanded to remain in police custody in solidarity with the 25 others who remain in detention.

Maher’s demand was turned down because of “the illegality of the request”, added the movement.

The order to release him was, however, not implemented.

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