6 April Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher has been detained until the prosecutor general investigates reports from the state investigator and Homeland Security. Maher arrived on Saturday morning in front of Abdeen Court to turn himself in.
“Maher denied accusations that he had called for last Tuesday’s protest on social media websites, also denying his presence during the protest [as he said he was at his house] and any relation with Alaa Abdel Fattah other than knowing him from social media websites and human rights conferences,” said Ali Atia, lawyer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
Atia added that the reports will be investigated Sunday morning and accordingly the prosecutor general will make his decision whether to extend Maher’s detention or to order his release.
On Wednesday, an arrest warrant was issued against Maher and renowned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. Both were held responsible for the Tuesday protest outside the Shura Council building.
On Friday, prosecution ordered four days’ detention pending investigation on charges of inciting violence and calling for a protest without the Ministry of Interior’s authorisation. Security forces on Thursday night raided Abdel Fattah’s house, taking him into custody.
Clashes broke out upon Maher’s arrival at the courthouse, after the 6 April founder received a barrage of insults at the main gate of the courthouse and was escorted to the side entrance by Central Security Forces (CSF). The angry mob began throwing chairs and stones at the soldiers, which provoked CSF to respond with batons, tear gas and birdshot to disperse protesters in the premises of Abdeen Court.
After the dispersal, Abdeen residents cheered for Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi near the CSF vans.
6 April leaders warned their members to avoid downtown as “police personnel in plain clothes would be targeting them.”
The Revolutionary Front organised the protest on Saturday morning in front of Abdeen Court under the title “Turn Yourself In”.
Founding Revolutionary Front members held copies of the ID cards of the protesters who were willing to turn themselves in. Protesters later stood in two lines, one for men and the other for women, holding their ID cards up high.
“The protest was to show the Ministry of Interior that the revolutionaries are not afraid of their oppression and are willing to turn themselves in, in solidarity with the detainees whose only fault is being part of the revolution” said Abdelaziz [Zizo] Abdo, a leader of the 6 April Youth movement.
Prior to the clashes, dozens of protesters gathered in front of Abdeen Courthouse chanting against the Protest Law and calling for the release of detainees from last week’s protests. Protesters held the pictures of the detainees on the staircase of Abdeen Court and raised a banner that said “Down with the Protest Law”.
When asked about the copies of the IDs, Atia replied that no complaints had yet been filed except for the lawyers, who had filed a complaint against themselves last Tuesday in solidarity with the Shura detainees.
Atia added that any complaint filed would be taken seriously and investigated by the prosecutor general. In the case of those presenting ID cards, they would be facing charges of protesting and calling for a protest without a permit, he said.