4-20-2011By Brian Dooley
Director, Human Rights Director
Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, was sentenced under a military commission to three years in prison without the presence of his attorneys. He was detained a few weeks ago by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for calling out abuses by the military.
Maikel, who is 26, is now the first prisoner of conscience after the revolution.
Egypt’s revolution is not yet over and the Egyptian people are working tirelessly to push for democratic reforms. Their demands are clear: to stop repression and establish a country that respects human rights and is grounded in the rule of law. To do this, civilians trusted by the people must be brought onto Egypt’s ruling executive council, and the military must share power in this transitional period.
Recently, my colleagues and I at Human Rights First hosted Esraa Abdel Fattah, a leading Egyptian democracy and human rights activist, in Washington D.C. where she spoke directly to U.S. officials about what is happening in Egypt. Bolstered by a petition with thousands of signatures calling for Maikel to be freed, she made the case that repression is not the way forward.
For many years the Egyptian people saw how the U.S. supported the corrupt Mubarak dictatorship. Now, they are watching to see how the U.S. will support the transition to democracy, and whether it will press the Egyptian armed forces to accept more civilian voices in government before September’s parliamentary election.
We cannot stand aside while activists continue to be detained merely for voicing dissent. Sign the petition now!
Human Rights First will deliver this petition to the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry, urging support for Sanad and other Egyptian activists fighting for freedom.