Young people arrested over facebook affair could be charged with attempt to topple gov’t

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The arrest of dozens of young Egyptians over their use of Facebook was the highlight of local press during the week.

Government and opposition publications differed in their positions over the issue, with the government-run newspapers arguing that the arrest was an important step in helping to rectify the national image abroad.

“Thirty members of the so-called April 6 Youth Movement – formed on the popular social networking website, Facebook and named after the April 6 strike – met in the headquarters of the Ghad Party in Alexandria, to show solidarity with its jailed leader Ayman Nour,” Egypt’s Al Ahram reported.

It added that the young people could be charged with “attempting to topple the regime.”

The Daily News Egypt – the country’s leading English daily – reported that those arrested were kept in custody, without officially being charged.

“The group of 14, all in their early 20s, were singing patriotic songs and flying the Egyptian flag on the occasion of the anniversary of the 23 July revolution when they were arrested on Sidi Beshr beach in Alexandria,” the Daily News reported.

“We spoke to the assistant prosecutor general Adel El-Said and requested that they follow-up with the prison and Interior Ministry authorities in order to ensure that the remaining members of the group are actually released,” said Deya El-Sawy, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement, in comments carried by the Daily News.

It was unclear which way the government’s hand will fall on these youth, but it is certain to remain a contentious point in Egyptian consciousness for the immediate future.

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