RAN 18/11: EGYPT

RAN 18/11

EGYPT: Blogger Michael Nabil Sanad sentenced to three years in prison

According to PEN’s information, Michael Nabil Sanad, better known by the pseudonym Son of Ra, was sentenced to three years in prison on 9 April 2011 by a military tribunal on charges of "insulting the military institution, dissemination of false news and disturbing public security". He was convicted for comments on his blogs in which he accuses the new government of continuing the corruption and anti-democratic practices of the former president, Hosni Mubarak. He was arrested on 28 March 2011 then transferred to a Military Court which held its first hearing on 30 March, when the charge of disturbing public security was dropped. Another hearing was held on 4 April and the case was subsequently adjourned to 6 April. Sanad was previously arrested on 8 February, before former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down. The blogger was detained while participating in the anti-Mubarak protests for holding a banner which read "Civil, not military or religious." He is being held at Tora prison.

Background Information

International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)
The New York Times

TAKE ACTION
Sign the petition below to send the following appeals:

  • Protesting the three-year sentence given to Michael Nabil Sanad solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling for the charges to be dismissed at once and for his immediate and unconditional release;
  • Seeking assurances that Michael Nabil Sanad is being treated humanely in detention;
  • Reminding the Egyptian authorities of their obligations to protect freedom of expression as laid out by Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory.

 These appeals will be sent to Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah, Director of Military Judiciary, and Muhammad Tantawi, Minister of Defense.

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