Egyptian Blogger Nabil Sentenced to Two Years in Prison
December 13, 2011
Freedom House is appalled by the sentencing of Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad to two years in prison and calls for his immediate release. Nabil was arrested because of his criticism of the brutal treatment of protesters in Egypt and previously sentenced to three years in prison. He began a hunger strike in August 2011 to protest his imprisonment. During his trial, he was accused of spreading false information and insulting the military. He was convicted in a summary procedure without the presence of a lawyer or the ability to contact his family.
Egyptians have been the victims of an increasing crackdown on public debate, including the reinstatement of the Ministry of Information, a ministry that does not exist in most democracies and is viewed as restrictive by many activists. Independent media in Egypt have come under increasing pressure to curb content, and journalists, bloggers and critics of the military have been arrested or faced restrictions on publications. At least 12,000 civilians have been tried in military courts since February 2011, according to Human Rights Watch.