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US criticizes Egyptian action against youth leader

Monday - 5/13/2013, 11:40pm  ET

BRADLEY KLAPPER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is blasting Egyptian authorities for detaining a prominent youth movement leader on possible charges including "incitement to protest" and insulting the government's interior minister.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the action against Ahmed Maher is a "step backward" for Egypt's democratic transition.

She says democratic societies don't prosecute people for such alleged violations.

Maher, who was arrested in Cairo last week upon returning from a trip to the U.S., was among those at the forefront of the 2011 revolt that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak. He was later released.

The U.S. is concerned about what it sees as a growing trend of arrests in Egypt designed to punish political dissent.


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