Trial of Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad for "insulting the military" / War Resisters' International observer in Cairo

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In the case of the detained Egyptian pacifist and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad, who is being tried on charged of "insulting the military by spreading false information" and "disturbing public security" [1], War Resisters' International has now sent an observer to Cairo, to attend the hearing at the military court on Sunday, 3 April 2011.

"The trial of Maikel Nabil Sanad on these charges is a violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees freedom of opinion and expression", says Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International observer, from Cairo. "In addition, Maikel Nabil Sanad, who is a civilian, is being tried in a military court. This is against all legal principles - if the authorities want to try him, for which there is no reason, they should do so in a civilian criminal court", he adds.

Maikel Nabil Sanad is a pacifist and a conscientious objector to military service. He was first arrested in November 2010 for his conscientious objection, but released two days later. He was then discharged from military service for being unfit to serve [2]. He was again arrested on 4 February 2011, during the time of the revolution. He was mistreated and threatened by the military, but released 27 hours later [3].

Maikel Nabil Sanad is a known critic of the Egyptian military. On his blog http://maikelnabil.com, he regularly publishes his political opinion, including most recently a lengthy critique of the role of the military during the so-called Egyptian revolution. In this document, he detailed the arrest and torture of activists by the military during and after the revolution [4].

"In a way, his arrest proves that his criticism of the role of the military in the revolution is very true", says Andreas Speck. "Far from being a free country, Egypt is presently governed directly by the military, which did never and does not now care for political freedom or human rights. The revolution might have gotten rid of Mubarak as figure head, but it has not - yet - achieved political freedom."

"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. And we call on everyone to make their protest heard with letters to Egyptian embassies wherever they live", he adds.

Ends

Contact:
Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International (in Cairo)
Mobile: +44 (0)79-7368 3936

Javier Garate, War Resisters' International (in London)
Mobile: +44 (0)78-5303 8160

War Resisters' International office
Tel +44 (0)20-7278 4040
Email: info@wri-irg.org

Addresses for protest letters

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
A protest email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/12474.

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

Notes for journalists
[1] See press release: Egypt military arrests pacifist activist and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad, http://wri-irg.org/node/12482. All information on Maikel Nabil Sanad can be accessed via http://wri-irg.org/node/11403
[2] http://wri-irg.org/node/12482
[3] See http://wri-irg.org/node/12476.
[4] More information on Maikel Nabil Sanad is available at http://wri-irg.org/node/11403. His own blog - with texts in Arabic and English - is available at http://maikelnabil.com. The document in question can be read (in English) at http://wri-irg.org/node/12484.

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Related peace activist(s): Maikel Nabil Sanad