At least twelve April 6 Youth Movement activists were arrested on the first day of the run-offs of the presidential elections, according to Ahmed, a member of the youth movement in Cairo who refused to give his full name. Ahmed confirmed the activists were accused of “violating the electoral silence and for campaigning in violation of campaign rules.”
Ten of the arrests took place outside of elections centres in Cairo, nine people were released after a few hours with one person still being held in Helwan, according to Ahmed. The remaining two people were arrested in El Minya and Alexandria.
In the governorate of El Menofeya, an April 6 member was detained for taking pictures of an army officer stopping a group of people from voting for Morsi, according to Ahmed Seif, responsible for the Coordination and Communication of the movement in El Menofeya. Seif stated that when the army officer saw the person taking pictures, he broke his camera and detained him in the polling station for three hours before releasing him.
Seif puts the number of April 6 activists arrested much higher, but most had since been released. An official statement released by April 6 Saturday afternoon claimed that 30 people were arrested and all but five were released. The five are being held in El Nozha police station and are accused of campaigning against Shafiq.
The statement says that it is apparent from the arrests and the threats the police made against those arrested that the police has strong sentiments against April 6 youth. According to Seif, the release of the members followed pressure from the group at police stations that included members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.
All activists were arrested in front of polling stations, holding up pictures and stickers with the images of people killed during the 2011 revolution. In some places, members from the families of the victims stood with the activists. Ahmed insists that they were not campaigning against Shafiq, the presidential candidate seen as the candidate of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) the forces responsible for the deaths of protesters.
“I don’t really understand, they either consider the martyr a candidate”, said Ahmed, “or holding up pictures of martyrs is considered campaigning against Shafiq.” The activists are accused of violating the electoral silence during which the candidates are not allowed to campaign.
The April 6 movement had announced their support of Morsi before the second round of the presidential elections. On Friday 15 June, activists from April 6 movement took part in a March from Mostafa Mahmoud to Tahrir Square and demanded that Shafiq be disqualified from the presidential race. The results of the first round of the presidential elections have been largely disappointing to young revolutionaries, leaving many to vote for Morsi in order to prevent Shafiq from winning.
The April 6 movement was created on 6 April 2008, in the industrial town of El Mahala El Kubra to support the workers of that town.