24 May 2011

Human Rights Group Criticizes Jailing of Blogger

Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil (26 – pictured here) was sentenced earlier this week to three years in prison for criticizing military rule, causing an outcry among rights activists both in Egypt and abroad. Mr. Nabil was sentenced last Sunday without his lawyers present, as they were told that the sentencing would take place on Tuesday.

Mr. Nabil was sentenced for writing in his blog that In truth, until now the revolution was achieved by getting rid of the dictator (Mubarak), but dictatorship is still present. Many activists have criticized Egypt’s military council for trying a civilian in a military court, which does not live up to the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people.

While General Mamdouh Shaheen said that Mr. Nabil would have an opportunity to appeal his sentence, New York-based Human Rights Watch’s Joe Stork, the Middle East Director at HRW, said that Maikel Nabil’s three-year sentence may be the worst strike against free expression in Egypt since the Mubarak government jailed the first blogger for four years in 2007.

For the original story from Reuters, please click here.