Blogger Maikel Nabil boycotts military's 'soap opera' trial against him

Sarah Raslan, Tuesday 18 Oct 2011

The courtroom trying detained Egyptian blogger today, Maikel Nabil, was empty of his presence and that of his family and lawyers in a strong message against martial law trials

Maikel Nabil
Blogger Maikel Nabil

Jailed blogger, Maikel Nabil was once again not present at his trial today - but this time it was his purposeful choice in order to send a strong message.

The detained blogger’s younger brother, Mark, says Maikel refuses to participate in the military's "soap opera."

Maikel even requested that his family and lawyers not appear as a total boycott against martial law and military trials. None of them appeared at the C28 courthouse today.

The military hadn't allowed Maikel to be present during the last trial, which should have determined whether they would free him after being arrested for criticising the military.

“Maikel told me that whether he or his legal team are present will not make a difference in the military’s ruling,” said Mark Nabil, Maikel’s younger brother.

“They [the military] have been very stubborn with us and will continue to do whatever they please. Their decisions are always predetermined.”

The detained activist has been on a hunger strike for 57 days and has vowed to not break his strike until he is freed from prison.

Maikel was arrested in late March after publishing a blog post entitled “The people and the army were never one hand,” in direct contrast to a popular revolution chant which highlighted the public’s trust in the military during the January 25 Revolution. The blogger was later sentenced to three years in prison and fined LE200 (roughly $30).

A military appeals court revoked Maikel’s three-year prison sentence last week and ordered a retrial, which was set for today, 18 October.

“Since they revoked his prison sentence [last week], they should have released Maikel from prison until the retrial,” Mark argued. He also says he has no idea what to expect from today’s trial.

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