For Immediate Release: December 15, 2011
Washington, DC – Today, Egyptian blogger Mikael Nabil was sentenced to two years imprisonment for “insulting the military establishment,” a development that Human Rights First is calling stark reminder of how the Supreme Council of Armed Forces continues to target peaceful dissenters and human rights defenders.
“Nabil is a civilian and he should not be tried by a military court,” said Human Rights First’s Quinn O’Keefe. “Even as the country enters its second phase of parliamentary elections, the SCAF continues to arrest, intimidate, and convict activists through hasty military trials. The international community would be remiss to focus solely on Egypt’s elections and not the ongoing human rights abuses.”
As part of Nabil’s retrial, the military court’s verdict stems from charges of “insulting the military establishment” for comments the 25-year old activist made on his blog and Facebook page. Nabil refused to actively take part in his retrial, claiming that the process itself is unconstitutional. In October 2011, Human Rights First raised concern for Nabil’s health after his hunger strike led to his hospitalization.
Over 12,000 people have been sentenced by a military court since the SCAF assumed power last February.