22 imprisoned Egypt military officers start hunger strike in solidarity with revolution

Ahram Online, Saturday 21 Jan 2012

On the eve of the first anniversary of Egypt's revolution, army officers sentenced to prison for demonstrating against the military regime start a hunger strike until the ruling SCAF steps down

The 8 April officers stand on a podium in Tahrir Square to show support for the revolutionaries (Photo: El-Ahram)

Some 22 imprisoned military officers, sentenced to three years in jail each for siding with the revolutionaries, decided Friday to go on an open-ended hunger strike to renew their support for the popular uprising.

Some of the convicted officers went to Tahrir Square on 8 April and 27 May to back up the revolutionaries during protests against the military rule. As a result, they stood military trials and were jailed.

Now they said they will only end their hunger strike if the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ends its interim rule on 25 January and hand over power to a civilian administration.

Countrywide mass protests are planned to be staged on the popular uprising’s first anniversary on Wednesday 25 January, with many to call on SCAF to immediately hand over power to a civilian government.

The officer’s decision was announced on the official Facebook page of the Supporters of the 8 April Officers' Movement.

The statement said the hunger strike is the first step of a planned escalation by the imprisoned officers.

It also said a hunger strike is the only way the beleaguered officers can to show support for the revolution from inside the prison.

The most renowned hunger strike in Egypt was that of imprisoned blogger and activist Maikel Nabil.

Nabil received a three-year prison sentence by the military for writing a blog post last winter sharply criticising the role of Egypt’s army with regard to the revolution.

The sentence was later reduced to two years following appeal. His hunger strike lasted for four months.

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