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Leader of Gaza youth movement 'arrested'

Aug. 15, 2011 11:08 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 19, 2011 10:00 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A young political activist in the Gaza Strip has been arrested, members of his group feared Monday after he had been missing for two days.

Abu Yazan, leader of the Gaza Youth Breaks Out movement, was returning from a trip to France, where he was invited to hold talks about the situation in Gaza, GYBO said.

He was arrested after being summoned twice for interrogation, the group said in a statement.

"Abu Yazan is a leading voice in the movement that is representing a growing number of Gazan youth," the statement said. GYBO was active in the March 15 pro-unity movement.

"He also was denied visits by his family and a lawyer," the group said.

"We call on the authorities to abide by the law."

Another member of the group, who identified himself only as Abu Ghassan, told AFP that Abu Yazan had been missing since he went to try to retrieve his laptop and mobile phone from the headquarters of Gaza internal security services.

"There was a threat that he would be arrested and he had to turn over his laptop and mobile phone to the internal security before he went to France," Abu Ghassan said.

"He went to get his laptop and mobile phone back two days ago and since then he hasn't been seen or heard from.

"They knew him very well and they knew that he was such an active guy and I fear that when he came back from France, it was an easy excuse for them to say he was involved in foreign interference or something," he added.

Abu Yazan also helped to organize weekly demonstrations against Israel's buffer zone, Abu Ghassan said.

"This is probably the third time that he's been arrested. He was beaten up for a day or two and then released. We know nothing of his whereabouts," he said.

The government had no immediate comment, declining to confirm or deny the arrest, AFP reported.
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