The hunger strike has been gaining momentum with activists, journalists and supporters inside and outside of jail joining to denounce a restrictive protest law and to call for the release of political detainees.
Maher is serving a three-year jail term – along with two other prominent activists, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel – on charges of holding unauthorised demonstrations and using force against the police.
A Cairo court banned all activities of the April 6 Youth Movement, ruling on a lawsuit that accused the group of espionage and defaming the Egyptian state.The move was criticised by rights advocates, who say the ruling was part of a crackdown on dissent. The April 6 Movement played an important role in the January 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Lateron it was subject to a campaign that accused its members of being agents of foreign countries, paid to stir instability in the country.