Leading Egyptian activist Ahmad Maher turns himself in to authorities
A key figure in the uprising against Hosni Mubarak in 2011, political activist Ahmad Maher turned himself into the Egyptian authorities late on Saturday after they issued a warrant for his arrest. (file
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Leading activist and popular symbol in the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011 Ahmad Maher turned himself into the Egyptian authorities on Saturday after an order was issued for his arrest for defying the new protest laws.
The new protest law - passed last week by the army-backed interim government - has provoked a massive outcry from human rights groups and watchdog who say that Egypt is back under military rule, Reuters reported.
Egypt has been engulfed by widespread unrest and violence since the army ousted Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi from office on July 3.
Making his way to the Abdeen court, Maher was surrounded by some 100 supporters who, Reuters reported, were chanting: "Down, down with military rule! I'll write on the prison wall that army rule is shameful and a betrayal!"
After Maher handed himself over to the authorities, clashes erupted between state security forces and activitsts outside the court, with Reuters reporting that police forces fired tear gas into the crowd and used their batons to disperse protesters.
Prosecution sources talking to Reuters said that Maher will be detained for at least one day while his criminal case is investigated.
Maher is not the only popular activist targeted by the Egyptian state - on Thursday, Alaa Abdel Fattah, also known for his role in the Mubarak uprising, was arrested for "defying the protest law".