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Egypt blogger arrested in government protest crackdown

Prominent Egyptian blogger and activist Ahmed Douma [twitter feed, in Arabic] was arrested Tuesday according to a posted tweet. According to Reuters, Douma has been detained [Reuters report] in connection with violence at a protest over the weekend outside a courthouse where activist and leader of the April 6 youth movement [PBS backgrounder] Ahmad Maher turned himself in to police following the issuing of warrant [Al Jazeera report] for his arrest. Douma served jail time earlier this year in connection with his activism. In July Douma, who had been sentenced to six months in prison for insulting ousted president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], was released [JURIST report, according to the state news agency MENA. The prosecution requested Douma's release, dropping his charges of publicly insulting Morsi in June.

Egypt has faced political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began over two years ago. Earlier this week Egypt's draft constitution was finalized [JURIST report] by a 50-member assembly, creating uncertainty about the country's election procedures. The draft dictates that elections are to take place within the first six months of the constitution's ratification. However, the draft does not determine whether a presidential election should be held before or after parliamentary elections. Last week Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah [blog, in Arabic; Twitter feed] was arrested [JURIST report] on charges of inciting a demonstration in violation of the country's recently enacted law [JURIST report] circumscribing citizens' right to protest in public. Egypt Prosecutor General Hisham Bakarat issued a warrant [AP report] for Abd El Fattah for failing to notify the police [AhramOnline report] in advance of the protests he allegedly organized.

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