War Resisters' International visit to Egypt

en
Related peace activist(s): Maikel Nabil Sanad

From 11 to 15 May – Andreas Speck, WRI's Right to Refuse to Kill programme worker, and Igor Seke, conscientious objector from Serbia – visited Egypt, originally to act as facilitators and resource persons in two workshops on conscientious objection, pacifism, and military service, which were planned with Maikel Nabil Sanad before his arrest on 28 March 2011. Andreas Speck also visited Cairo in early April 2011, during the trial of Maikel Nabil Sanad.

In a report of their visit, Andreas Speck and Igor Seke write: "Although high representatives of the European Union and EU countries expressed their concerns about Maikel Nabil Sanad's imprisonment, there has so far not been a solution. German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, at the meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil El-Araby, said that the sentence imposed on Maikel is a step back in the democratisation of Egypt, and that Germany wants “encourage those people who are bringing the democratic process forward.” During his visit to Egypt on 2 and 3 May, Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, raised his concerns about a number of reported human rights violations in Egypt, and specifically mentioned Maikel's case as one of the most obvious cases".

In June, War Resisters' International, Connection e.V., and DFG-VK Hesse launched a joint campaign in support of Maikel Nabil Sanad, asking to send postcards to Maikel Nabil Sanad in prison, and for protests letters to be sent to Minister of Defence Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Information on the campaign is available at http://wri-irg.org/campagins/supportmaikelnabil.
The same organisations are presently preparing a call for an international day of action in support of Maikel Nabil Sanad for 9 September 2011. More information will follow.

Sources: War Resisters' International: EGYPT: Conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad arrested / in military court today, 29 March 2011; War Resisters' International: Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad sentenced to three years' imprisonment for insulting the military, 11 April 2011; Andreas Speck & Igor Seke: "We got rid of the dictator, but not of the dictatorship", 24 June 2011

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