War Resisters' International calls for release of unjustly imprisoned Egyptian blogger
Note: This is a flier which can be downloaded as PDF and distributed on 2 September, the International Day of Action in support of Maikel Nabil Sanad (or on any other day). There is also an OpenDocument version attached, which can be edited.
You can also download a poster (A3) as PDF or in OpenDocument version.
On Tuesday, 23 August 2011, imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad began a hunger strike in protest against his continued imprisonment. One week later, he escalated his hunger strike and is now also refusing to drink. In his declaration he wrote that he had decided: "to go on a hunger strike (...). Should there be no response, I will escalate my hunger strike to include water and medicines. It will continue until death or until I am set free."
Following the escalation of the hunger strike to include a thirst strike, we are very concerned about Maikel Nabil Sanad's life.
We call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad. He was arrested at the end of March 2011, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment on charges of violation of article 184 of the Egyptian penal code, which criminalizes "insulting the People’s Assembly, the Shura Council or any State Authority, or the Army or the Courts", and article 102, "spreading false information". His trial in front of a military court did not meet international legal standards.
Maikel Nabil Sanad is imprisoned for his writings about the role of the military during and after the revolution, especially his blog post "The army and the people never were as one" He is the first blogger sentenced for blogging since the toppling of Mubarak in February 2011.
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. In July, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations passed a new General Comment 34 on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It writes: 'States parties should not prohibit criticism of institutions, such as the army or the administration.' The sentencing and imprisonment of Maikel Nabil Sanad is in clear violation of the interpretation of article 19 ICCPR, as shown in General Comment 34.
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