Important notice: The article isn’t up-to-date and too many developments happened. Refer to http://www.freemaikel.com for the latest developments and updates
The activist, the first Egyptian conscientious objector and the first political prisoner after the beginning of 25 January revolution, “Maikel Nabil Sanad”, has been arrested in 28 March, 2011 at night from his home. He has been militarily tried.
Maikel has been moved to the military court immediately and he didn’t even have a chance to inform his family or friends.
He was only able to call his brother secretly by a phone of a recruit and told him that he he was going to be tried after a few hours and he doesn’t know what exactly is he accused of.
Friends of Maikel telephoned “El-Nadeem Center for Torture Victims Rehabilitation” to send him a lawyer. The lawyer was told that Maikel isn’t there and they don’t know anything about that name. Later the activists and relatives knew that it was a deceit attempt from the Military Court.
Maikel is a pacifist political activist and a blogger who founded “No for Compulsory Military Service Movement” and he wrote later an article to bring the military mask off and show how it is involved in torturing activists and protesters as well as making virginity tests for female protesters.
Maikel was sentenced for three years in prison with hard labor and maximum security for the charge of insulting the military institution, as well as the charge of publishing false information about the army. The sentence was issued after deceiving the lawyer, the activists and relatives that the trial was postponed two days later. The proof for the charges was from the article he wrote. Maikel didn’t insult the Minister of Defense, Tantawi, he only criticized his political role. Maikel wrote about factual incidents made by the army.
Maikel was later moved from the Military Prison to El-Marg prison at Qalyubia. He is being harassed by many means inside the prison. He is denied his right to be examined by a doctor, while he’s in great need for examination because of his weak health and a chronic illness in his blood pressure which affects his heart.
Food provided by prison is very limited and very bad, so his brother has to buy him food on a regular basis and carries it with him each time he manages to visit Maikel.
Maikel’s belongings were stolen from him in prison, his food was destroyed by who work inside prison in order to force him to eat of the prison food which they add drugs on, while it harms Maikel’s blood pressure to eat of the drugged food. Maikel was forced to be locked with serious criminals in a disciplinary ward where terrorists are held. Prisoners there threatened him many times. After making a hunger and a medicine strike, he was later moved to solitary confinement. In the end, he was allowed to be moved to the “public money” ward, locked with less serious criminals. People in charge of the prison warn other prisoners from talking with Maikel, or else they would be punished, making Maikel feel abandoned most of the time.
In El-Marg prison, there exist systematic insults and torturing by the people in charge in prison, adding up to some prisoners’ danger.
Maikel is denied his right to buy newspapers from within prison. Letters sent to him are read by people in charge of prison and almost never given to him. The only way Maikel could know what’s happening in the world is by the limited newspapers which his brother buys for him, giving him them whenever he manages to visit him. Maikel also often asks his brother to get him books. Most of the times, Maikel is prevented from receiving books or newspapers from his brother.
Despite his countless requests, his friends and relatives’ demands, Maikel is always denied the right to be examined by a doctor.
In the last visit to Maikel by his family and friends, they learned that his body is full of allergies because of mites in prison where he sleeps and dirty water in which he showers. Also, Maikel seemed to be extremely fatigued.
After the 18 day-protest from 25 January which led Mubarak to step-down, the prisons allowed prisoners who didn’t flee to have weekly visits, instead of one visit per two weeks. That was being applied to all new prisoners. Maikel was later prevented from having one visit per week and instead one visit per two weeks, for no reason. His visitors weren’t even warned or informed and they once tried to visit him, only to be surprised after hours of interrogation that they are prevented and that Maikel visits have become limited to once per two weeks.
Maikel knew that he may be transferred to a farther prison leading to disallowing him from having visitors.
The Military Court prevented Maikel from making an appeal, by claiming that they didn’t receive the announcement from prison for almost a month wasting Maikel’s chance for an appeal in a period of no longer than 60 days after the ratification of the ruling. The Military Court asked his brother to get the announcement from prison while the prison was commanded by the Military Court not to give the announcement to him. After activists announced making a stand-in in front of El-Marg prison, the Military Court allowed the prison to let an officer go with his brother to the Military Court with the announcement, in order to ask for the repeal. Up till now, after weeks from asking for an appeal, the Military Court didn’t set a date for the session.
In 30 July, 2 journalists were arrested at El-Marg prison because they were covering Maikel’s story. They were only released after burning their film and forcing them to sign a document that it’s a militarist area, while prisons in Egypt are civilian areas!
Note: The military intelligence arrested Maikel Nabil many times before and threatened him because of his conscientious objection to compulsory military recruitment, because of his pacifist beliefs which prevent him from holding a weapon.
A few months ago he had been given his exemption certificate after a very wide publishing of his case nationally and internationally, after he was arrested in a kidnap style from his home.
The last time he had been arrested was by the army in 4 February 2011 while he was leaving Tahrir Square.
• Official website for the campaign to free Maikel: http://www.freemaikel.com
• Official Twitter account for the campaign to free Maikel: @freeMaikel
• A compilation for video about Maikel’s case on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/freeMaikel
• A compilation of everything Maikel wrote while imprisoned: http://maikel-nabil-in-jail.blogspot.com
• Free Maikel Nabil Sanad Campaign (Facebook page)
• We’re all Maikel Nabil because they didn’t stop after Khaled Said (Facebook group)
• Maikel Nabil Sanad: The Army and the People were Never Hand-in-Hand
• Amnesty International: Egypt blogger on hunger strike must be released as health fails (also available in Arabic)
• Amnesty International: Egypt prisoners beaten, denied medical treatment