Update: Maikel’s military trial was delayed to Sunday, the 10th after the intelligence said its opinion about him and the lawyers replied, as well as some papers will be submitted by lawyers.
(CNN; Dubai, Emirates)– The military court in Egypt continued looking in the first “opinion case” of its kind, criticizing the Egyptian army, which is heading the authority in the country, since the revolution of January 25th, which decided postponing the case to Wednesday session, with expectations of the verdict before the end of the current week.
Maikel Nabil Sand, the human rights activist and the youth blogger, is facing charges with publishing “false news” and “offending the armed forces” on his personal blog “Son of Ra” (ابن رع), with dropping of another charge in the previous session, that the military prosecution addressed to him, related to “disturbing public security”.
The Egyptian security arrested the youth blogger at the end of the past month, after he had published a long detailed research on the relation between the army and the people throughout the period of the revolution, titled “The Army and the People Were Never Hand in Hand”. He documented his research with reports published in various media. He’s also the founder of the group “No for Compulsory Military Service” on the social network, “Facebook”.
It’s expected that Wednesday session the hearing of the pleading defense, according to Mamdouh Nakhla (ممدوح نخلة), the lawyer of the accused, in his statements to Arabic CNN on Tuesday, pointing that it’s expected the the court issues its final decision in the case during Wednesday session or Thursday, for the furthest expectation.
CNN Arabic wasn’t able to get an official comment from the armed forces side on the case which is considered the first since its assuming power to the country’s affairs, in which a military spokesperson reported that the case is being looked in front of the judicature and it’s impossible to comment on it, stressing on the “integrity” of the military judicature.
Since Maikel arrest in the 28th of last March and his transmission to the military court, the youth blogger wasn’t able to communicate with anyone of his family members except on the second day, when his father was able to meet him finding him under tightened guarding as if he were a “dangerous terrorist”, as reported by one of his family members in a previous call with CNN Arabic.
The military court held the first session to start judging Maikel, last Thursday, when it addressed to him charges, including “publishing false news” and “offending the armed forces” while the charge of “disturbing the public security” was dropped, however in a second session, which was dedicated to the “disengagement” of the inventory of the documents of the case, the defense team asked for postponement, to view the papers and the file of the case.
The defense complained about what it described as evasion from the army side, which one of the lawyers confirmed that “whenever we look for Maikel’s name in the cases’ log we don’t find it and lawyers don’t find it, we were surprised that the trial had started.”
In previous statements, Mamdouh Nakhla, the lawyer, the head of “Elkelma” foundation for human rights: “The army might have search behind Maikel to make a lesson out of him to other youth.”
He pointed out that at the beginning of the proceeding, the prosecutor wrote: “In the context of searching of the army for elements which raise strife between the army and the people”, which means that “the army is the one which searched after Maikel, follows him and he was arrested to intimidate other youths”, according to the lawyer.
Nakhla expressed his expectation for the “issuance of a fast verdict for the case”, pointing out that cases of military courts don’t take more than one week.
He added that “in case the trial was done in a fair manner, we expect that Maikel receives acquittance, but in the case of the military committee practicing pressure on the court, it would sentence him from one to three years.”
Sahar Maher (سحر ماهر), the political activist and Maikel’s fellow, pointed out to the existence of a “monitoring” from the army to Maikel’s activity and she stressed on that he is “the first youth to attack the army openly, even before the revolution”, since he had launched the group “No for Compulsory Military Service.”
The political activist considered in her statements to Arabic CNN, that “all the charges against him (Maikel) are unjustified, they even represent a violation against freedom of expression, since the first thing we asked for in the revolution was freedom.”
She pointed at there are more than 600 persons “support Maikel’s thought” and asked: “so why aren’t all of them are tried for their support for that thought?”
Maikel was subjected to arrest from the military police in the 8th of last February, before Mobarak, the ex-president, stepping down, when he held a sign during Liberation square demonstrations, he wrote on it: “civil [state] not militarist and not religious and enough for militarist rule since 52”.
At that time, other reports pointed that he “was subjected to torture” after his arrest with 7 other supporters of Mohamed Elbaradei, the ex-director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who announced his intention to run for the next presidential elections.
The previous article was originally published in Arabic on arabic.cnn.com: http://arabic.cnn.com/2011/egypt.2011/4/5/military.blogger_egypt/
All rights reserved to CNN.
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Important links and international coverage
• Human Rights Watch: Egypt: Drop Charges Against Blogger Critical of Military
• Reporters Without Borders: Military police arrest blogger for criticizing armed forces
• ANHRI: Egyptian Human Rights Organizations: When Extremists Cut Off An Egyptian Citizen’s Ear And Get Pardoned While A Blogger Is Court Martialed Over Opinions On His Blog, Then Egyptian Justice And Freedom of Expression Are At Stake.
• War Resisters’ International: Trial of Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad for “insulting the military” / War Resisters’ International observer in Cairo
• War Resisters’ International: EGYPT: Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad arrested for insulting the military
• Human Rights First: Egyptian Military Detains Activist: Take Action!
• Human Rights First: Urgent! Egyptian activist arrested
• Süddeutsche Zeitung: Maikel Nabil Sanad – critical blogger of the regime suspiciously eyed by the army
• Al Jazeera English (Youtube video): Egypt military trying political prisoners
• Democracy Review: Maikel Nabil Arrested Again And To Face Military Court in Egypt
• Democracy Review: Maikel Nabil Support Increases with Human Rights Organizations and in Media
• IndyMedia UK: EGYPT: Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad arrested for insulting the military
• News 24: Egypt military urged to cancel blogger trial
• Words & Swords: Help free blogger Maikel Nabil !
• Words & Swords: Today a blogger – tomorrow ?
• Arab American Institute: Egyptian Activist Arrested for “insulting the military institution”
• All Africa: Egypt: Military Police Arrest Blogger for Criticizing Armed Forces
• Al-bab: Egyptian accused of insulting the army
• Salem-News: Egyptian Pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad Charged with Insulting the Military: Trial Adjourned to Sunday
• CyberDissidents.org: Blogger Critical of Egyptian Army Arrested
• Connection e.V.: Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad arrested for insulting the military
• Ekklesia: Egyptian activist on trial for ‘insulting the military’
• almasryalyoum: Military court postpones trial of blogger accused of insulting the military (01/04/2011; Egyptian journal; they didn’t publish it in Arabic)
• The New York Times: Hero of Egypt’s Revolution, Military Now Faces Critics
• Washington Post: What Egyptian revolution?
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