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Prominent youth activist detained in Egypt

An Egyptian man chants slogans during the Muslim Brotherhood’s anti-Israel rally in Cairo on Friday.

Associated Press

An Egyptian man chants slogans during the Muslim Brotherhood’s anti-Israel rally in Cairo on Friday.

CAIRO — Egypt's prosecutor general ordered a prominent youth leader to be detained on Friday for four days pending an investigation into accusations he incited antigovernment violence, the Associated Press reports, citing a security official. It's the latest case of a pro-democracy activist being held over similar charges.

Meanwhile President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood staged an anti-Israel rally, the first of its kind by the group since they rose to prominence in the wake of the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

AP reported the security official said Ahmed Maher, a leader of the April 6 Youth Movement that was at the forefront of the anti-Mubarak revolt, was arrested at Cairo's main airport as he arrived from the United States.

He said Maher stands accused of "incitement" for actions at a demonstration in March against the country's interior minister, when protesters hurled underwear at the minister's house to oppose a crackdown on the activist group.

Maher is now being held on the premises of the prosecutor's office in the capital's Nasr City eastern district, the official said, after the four-day detention was ordered.

Maher's April 6 group was one of Morsi's top allies during his presidential campaign last year, against a rival who was a Mubarak-era official the group feared would restore Mubarak's regime.

Days before his arrest, Maher had expressed regret for the group's alliance with Morsi and his main backers, the Brotherhood.

A myriad of charges and complaints have been leveled in recent months against activists, journalists and TV personalities, including well-known satirist Bassem Youssef, for insulting Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.

The crackdown comes at a time Morsi's government is struggling to meet its promises to carry out reforms and improve Egyptians' quality of life. Along with lawlessness and economic woes, the country has witnessed a surge in sectarian tension, with the country's Christian minority increasingly feeling the heat of newly empowered hardline Islamists.

Prominent youth activist detained in Egypt 05/10/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 9:55pm]
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