Imprisoned Egyptian blogger enters fifth day of hunger strike

Zeinab El Gundy, Sunday 28 Aug 2011

Prison officials have refused to officially record the hunger strike by Maikal Nabil Sanad, the first blogger to be arrested after the overthrow of Mubarak for allegedly defamatory remarks about Egypt's ruling military council

Maikal Nabil
Maikal Nabil

Egyptian blogger Maikal Nabil Sanad has entered the fifth day of his hunger strike at El-Marg prison where he is serving a three-year sentence for defaming the military.

According to Sanad’s family, Maikal Nabil decided to begin his hunger strike in opposition to the military council’s decision to pardon certain political activists and protesters while ignoring others imprisoned after military trials.

Human rights activists stated that his health has, in the past few days, been deteriorating and that the prison officials have, as yet, refused to officially record his hunger strike.

Maikal Nabil Sanad was accused of defaming the Egyptian Armed Forces and was handed a three-year sentence. Sanad’s act of sedition, in the eyes of Egypt’s de-facto rulers, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, was a blog post, published last March, called “The army and the people are not one hand” in which he accused the SCAF and the army of working against the revolution.

He was the first Egyptian blogger to be arrested and convicted after the toppling of president Hosni Mubarak. Furthermore, he was the second Egyptian blogger, after blogger Abdel Karim Amar, in Egypt to face prison time because of his opinions and writings. Nabil was heading an online campaign against the mandatory military service of youth in Egypt.

There is currently an online solidarity campaign with Maikal Nabil. Last Saturday, many Egyptian Twitter users started a tweeting campaign, using the hash tag ‘#FreeMaikal’ which drew the support of many activists, even those totally against his controversial views on religion and Egyptian-Israeli relations. These activists have set these differences aside, citing the primacy of ‘freedom of expression.’

Short link: