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Egypt: Activist Ahmad Maher arrested as vote on new draft constitution commences

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Egypt: Activist Ahmad Maher arrested as vote on new draft constitution commences

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Leading Egyptian activist Ahmad Maher has turned himself in to the authorities ahead of a vote on a new draft constitution.

Leader of the April 6 Youth Movement, Maher is a symbol of the uprising that ousted President Mubarak in 2011. He made his way to court amid approximately 100 supporters.

An order for his arrest was issued for defying a new law restricting demonstrations.

Speaking to the press, he said:

“I do not approve of this law, and I do not approve of the decision for my arrest. But in our movement’s principles, penalty is a part of our activities and I will, therefore, face the consequences.”

Maher is expected to be detained for at least a day, while the case is investigated.

Passed a week ago, the protest law has provoked uproar among rights groups.

Meanwhile, 47 of the 50 people nominated to vote on the new draft constitution gathered in Cairo on Saturday for the start of the ballot.

They will vote on 247 articles over the course of three days.

In early results, all articles voted on were passed unanimously.