Egyptian Blogger May Die In Jail

1lede_egypt-articleInlineIt seems like every other person I know has a blog of some type.  Some political, some about food, some about travel, and even one about comic books.  I believe a lot of people take for granted the freedom we have in this country to put our thoughts and opinions out there for all the world to see.  Not everyone does, as a man in Egypt has learned. 

An Egyptian military court convicted Maikel Nabil Sanad in April on charges of insulting the armed forces, prompting US lawmakers to send a letter to the military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, demanding his release.

Sanad’s trial was the first of a blogger since the military took charge of the country in February following president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow by a nationwide uprising.

Mr. Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison in April. He had been arrested by the Egyptian Military Council in March and charged with “insulting the military establishment” and “spreading false information” because of a blog entry titled “The Army and People were never one hand”.

In the March 8 blog entry that resulted in Maikel’s imprisonment, he wrote extensively about the military council being a “repressive institution” and its hypocritical message of peace delivered to the people to garner their support.

“Their actions contradict their words all the time. The army warble us, by a sweet-talk method,” he wrote, adding that the military council had become the country’s biggest enemy, becoming more frightening than Hosni Mubarak, the country’s former president, now on trial on charges of corruption and murdering protesters.

Maikel said that army was implicit in the torture and sexual harassment of hundreds of activists, including himself.

Sanad began a hunger strike on August 23 and stopped drinking water August 30.

Sanad’s blog can be found here and it appears the March 8 entry has been removed:  http://www.maikelnabil.com/2007/12/welcome.html

Read more from The National:  http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/fears-for-egyptian-blogger-on-hunger-strike-in-jail

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