Egyptian Blogger Maikel Nabil Jailed For Insulting Military [VIDEO]

In a setback to freedom of expression in post-Mubarak Egypt, Egyptian blogger, 26-year-old Maikel Nabil Sanad, has been sentenced to three years in prison for criticizing the military. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has been in control of Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was ousted on February 11th following 18 days of protests. Nabil was sentenced by a military court and is said to be the first blogger imprisoned in Egypt since Mubarak’s fall.

According to the New York Times, the charges against Nabil include “insulting the military establishment…spreading false information about the armed forces…[and] spreading information previously published by human rights organizations like Amnesty International on the army’s use of violence against protesters,” as well as the torture used on those detained in the Egyptian Museum and forced pelvic exams, known as ‘virginity tests,’ used on female protesters. The main evidence against Nabil, who blogged as ‘Son of Ra,’ was a CD containing 73 screen shots of entries on his blog and his personal Facebook page, says Human Rights Watch.

Says Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch:

“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. The sentence is not only severe, but it was imposed by a military tribunal after an unfair trial.”

Nabil was arrested on March 28, 2011, at his home in Cairo. Says Human Rights Watch:

The military prosecutor charged him with “insulting the military establishment,” under article 184 of the penal code, and with “spreading false information,” a violation of article 102 bis. The military judge had announced on April 6 that he would rule on April 10 after defense lawyers had completed their pleadings. On April 10, Nabil’s lawyers were informed that no session would take place on that day and that the judge would rule on April 12.

Adel Ramadan, of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, one of Nabil’s defense lawyers, told Human Rights Watch that when the lawyers went to the court complex on the morning of April 11, they saw on the court roll that the court had already sentenced Nabil the day before. In violation of the Code of Military Justice, the lawyers had not been present.

Nabil’s lawyers and parents were barred from communicating with him during sentencing. A Christian, Nabil “may have been singled out as an easy target, partly because of previous run-ins with the military and partly because of his pro-Israel views,” according to Mona Seif, a rights advocate. In 2010, he had refused to fulfill his obligatory military service and had ever since campaigned against mandatory conscription. Nabil had also praised Israel for its “democracy, educational standards and innovations.”

Nabil’s supporters have started a Facebook page, Free Maikel Nabil. As Seif said in the New York Times:

“The things they charged him with, most of us could also be charged with. The evidence and the testimony they used against him are things that I and a lot of human rights campaigners have been writing about too.”

On The Lede blog, the New York Times also quoted Egptian journalist Mona Eltahawy, who said that Nabil’s conviction for “insulting the Armed Forces” seems to “echo a notorious decision by the old regime: the four-year term given to another Egyptian blogger, Kareem Amer, when he was convicted of insulting Islam and the president in 2007.”


Take Action: Sign the petition to end military violence against Egyptian protesters.


Previous Care2 Coverage

2 Bahraini Activists Die—Possibly From Torture—in Police Custody

African Union Delegation Leader Zuma Says Gaddafi Accepts “Roadmap To Peace”

Hosni Mubarak Says He Did Nothing Wrong As Egypt’s President [VIDEO]

Gaddafi’s Forces Attack Rebel Stronghold of Ajdabiya [VIDEO]

2 Killed in Army Crackdown in Tahrir Square in Cairo [VIDEO]


Image of Maikel Nabil from Agaahi via YouTube


Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m6 years ago

If our government wasn't do hellbent for oil I think we could contribute on a totaly different playing field, but for now they want oil and look the other way as so not to "offend".

Robert Coleman
Robert C6 years ago

Thank you for sharing the petition with it, Kristina.

Gloria C.
gloria c6 years ago

the military mind.oxymoron.

Drivin Russell
6 years ago

Was cut off:


“This is what chump “CHANGE” looks like!” - ‘Wamsutta’, DKos, 6NOV10

Drivin Russell
6 years ago

On Mon., 4APR11 the lead article by Dr. Noam Chomsky had complimentary ones by Patrick Martin ( & Yoichi Shimatsu ( in its comments section.

Chomsky rightly condemns the US/EU for letting the oil-fat, PRO-SHARI’A Muslim royal families (esp. Bahrain, Kuwait & Saudi Arabia) SLAUGHTER their “pro-democracy” movements, while it then “responds” by attacking Libya’s “unreliable” el-Gaddafi.

Chomsky accurately states: “An oil-rich dictator who is a reliable client is granted virtual free rein.”

Together, these analyses show us what we MUST expect:

*The US/EU will use their CIA/Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda assets to overthrow current “Shari’a-lite” regimes in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya & Syria & enforce the installation of “reliable” hardline, PRO-SHARI’A rulers, as we’re already seeing in Rached Ghannouchi’s Tunisia (Yemen, the poorest Muslim state, has NO oil & will be “stabilized” internally).
*PRO-SHARI’A Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia & the other UAE states will contribute their PETRO-BUX to pay for this “CHANGE”.
*ALL US/EU/Mideast oil cos. will reap the profits from this “stable” arrangement.
*ALL Mideast “pro-democratic” (a misnomer) movements have NO CHANCE!

“This is what chump “CHANGE”

Shell S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Sending Makil much loving kindness and positive thoughts. Namaste

John E.
John E6 years ago

Robert O
You right on the mark there.

"Meet the new boss ... same as the old boss"
Are there any better types of boss in the middle east?
Perhaps a fundamentalist islamic regime?
I don't think so.

The US with it's "not torture" at Guantanamo Bay and Quantico and the campaign against Manning and Assange appears to be heading rapidly down the same path.

Perhaps the human species has passed the zenith of it's civilization ... is it all downhill from here?

Joan Hanlon
Joan H6 years ago

If he was a Muslim do you think he'd be in jail?

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

How awful.

Mrs Shakespeare, the dictator may be gone but the entire mindset and poisonous regime he created didn't all go with him when he left. Think about it. Andy by the way, since when did freedom of speech suddenly become construed as "creating trouble"? Oh forgot it's only when trouble when people you don't know or care about express their opions but for you it's okay since you're so perfect. Wake up lady!

Carole H.
Carole H6 years ago

So the new regime is the same as the old regime - nothing changes does it. How sad after all those brave people taking a stand - where is the international community now?