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Egyptian blogger says he arrested in growing crackdown

Source: Reuters - Tue, 3 Dec 2013 09:02 AM
Author: Reuters
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CAIRO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - A prominent Egyptian blogger said on Tuesday he had been arrested, the latest political activist to be detained in a widening crackdown on dissent by the army-backed government.

"I am now present in Basateen police station. I still don't know the accusation against me or the reason for my arrest," Ahmed Douma said on Twitter.

Egyptian authorities have launched a crackdown on Islamists, killing hundreds and arresting thousands since the army ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July.

The crackdown has now been extended to prominent political activists after liberals who backed Mursi's overthrow have become more vocal against the military.

In a recent tweet referring to the detention of another activist, Douma described the government as "criminal" and said it would fall.

The state news agency said Douma was detained in connection with "violence" at a protest outside a courthouse on Saturday where Ahmad Maher, a symbol of the popular uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, turned himself in to authorities

An order was issued for Maher's arrest for defying a new law restricting demonstrations.

Under Mursi's rule, Douma was detained over accusations of insulting the president in what activists called an example of the government using the courts to target its liberal and secular opponents.

On Thursday, police arrested activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, also known for his role in the anti-Mubarak uprising.

The new protest law has deepened unrest in the most populous Arab state. It gives the Interior Ministry the right to ban any meeting of more than 10 people in a public place. (Reporting by Michael Georgy, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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