Maikel Nabil Sanad – still on hunger strike – again limited thirst strike
The support group of Maikel Nabil Sanad informed that the military has now set the date for the appeal of Egyptian conscientious objector and critic of the military for 1 November 2011. However, War Resisters' International, Connection e.V., and DFG-VK Hesse still demand the immediate and unconditional release, because the sentence is a grave violation of human rights.
Maikel Nabil Sanad was sentenced by a military court on 10 April 2011 to three years' imprisonment for insulting the military, spreading of false information, and disrupting public order, because he criticised the role of the military during and after the revolution in an article on his blog http://www.maikelnabil.com. In this article, he exposed in detail the continued violation of human rights and political influence of the military during and after the revolution.
The sentence because of this critical article is a violation of the human right to freedom of expression and opinion. On 21 July 2011, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in its new General Comment 34 stated in relation to the right to freedom of opinion and expression: "States parties should not prohibit criticism of institutions, such as the army or the administration." (see: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/GC34.pdf) Therefore, the detention and sentencing of Maikel Nabil Sanad is a clear violation of article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Also the interim constitution of Egypt, which came into force in June 2011, guarantees the right to freedom of expression, and the freedom of the press.
In addition, the sentence was passed by a military court on a civilian, and without his family, friends, 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.
In protest against the injustice of the sentence and to demand his immediate release, Maikel Nabil Sanad began a hunger strike on 23 August 2011. On 30 August, he began also to refuse to take water. After four days he interrupted the thirst strike, after he fell into coma and suffered a renal colic. He announced to again begin a limited thirst strike of 24 hours today, in solidarity with the demonstration on Tahrir square in Cairo on Friday.
Last Friday world-wide groups and organisations demonstrated for the release of Maikel Nabil Sanad in front of agencies of the Egyptian government in Alexandria, Asyut, Barcelona, Cairo, Frankfurt/M, Helsinki, and London. Tomorrow too there will be protests.
War Resisters‘ International, Connection e.V., and DFG-VK Hesse are extremely concerned about the health of Maikel Nabil Sanad. They again demand from the Egyptian military to immediately and unconditionally release him. „It seems Maikel Nabil Sanad does not see any other way than this, which is dangerous for him, to fight for his release“, declared Andreas Speck of War Resisters‘ International today. Rudi Friedrich from Connection e.V. added: „It is the responsibility of the Egyptian military to immediately overturn this unjust sentence.“
The organisations ask for continued support for Maikel Nabil Sanad. Protest letters can be sent via:
DFG-VK Hesse, Mühlgasse 13, D-60486 Frankfurt
Tel.: 069-431440, Fax: 069-4990007