EGYPT: Pacifist blogger and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad sentenced to three years in prison

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Maikel Nabil SanadMaikel Nabil SanadWar Resisters' International has learnt this morning that pacifist blogger and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment yesterday on charges of "insulting the military". Yesterday, in front of the military court in Nasr City in Cairo, his family and friends were told that the trial had been adjourned (see co-alert, 10 April 2011), while in fact it was happening, and Maikel Nabil Sanad was being sentenced to prison, without his family or lawyers present. This is an outrageous violation of the right to fair trial according to article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Maikel Nabil Sanad was arrested by military police in the night of 28 March (see co-alert, 29 March 2011, and has been kept detained since. He is being tried in a fast-track trial in a military court, although he is a civilian.

The trial has been adjourned several times, most recently on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 for sentencing on Sunday, 10 April (see co-alert, 6 April 2011).

Egypt is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Freedom of expression and opinion is a human right, protected under article 19 of the ICCPR, as repeatedly stated by the UN Human Rights Committee.

The newly approved interim constitution of Egypt also guarantees the right to freedom of expression, and the freedom of the press.

In his writings, Maikel Nabil Sanad made use of his right to freedom of opinion and expression. This includes his right to criticise the role of the military during and after the revolution.

The sentencing of Maikel Nabil Sanad to three years in prison is a violation of his human rights - especially his right to freedom of opinion and expression and his right to a fair trial. In addition, Maikel Nabil Sanad was tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. This again is against Egyptian and international law and legal standards. He was sentenced deprived of the presence of family and friends, which is a violation of the principle of public trial, an important aspect of the right to fair trial.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Maikel Nabil Sanad:
Maikel Nabil Sanad
El-Marg prison
El-Kalag
El-Khanka
Qalyubeya
Egypt

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Egyptian authorities:

Director of Military Judiciary
Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2 402 4468 / +202 2 411 3452 (ask for fax)

Military General Attorney
Major-General Medhat Radwan
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, Egypt
+202 2 412 0980 (ask for fax)

Minister of Defence
His Excellency Muhammad Tantawi
Ministry of Defence
Cairo, Egypt
mmc@afmic.gov.eg ; mod@afmic.gov.eg
Fax: +20 2 2 5748 822
A protest email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/12728.

Egyptian Embassy in Britain
26 South Street, London W1K 1DW
Tel.: 020 7499 3304,
Fax: 020 7491 1542,
E-Mail Address: eg.emb_london@mfa.gov.eg
A list with contact details for Egyptian embassies is available at
http://www.mfa.gov.eg/English/Embassies/Pages/Listing.aspx

War Resisters' International calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Maikel Nabil Sanad and all those other activists arrested during and after the revolution.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International