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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mikel Nabil, First Prisoner of conscience in Egypt Post - Jan 25th revolution

Important Update - 31 August: Maikel Nabil is on thirst strike for 24 hours now and the prison's admin not letting anyone in, we don't know if he is alive or not

Mikel Nabil, Egyptian blogger and activist. Despite his pacifist personal opinions that most of Egyptian disagree with, his 3 year sentence to prison after a military trial for his opinions and criticism of the Egyptian army and its leadership actions throughout the Revolution in an article on his blog, has shown quite a rejection in the Egyptian society for being militarily tried for his opinions. Mikel is considered the first Prisoner of conscience in Egypt Post - Jan 25th revolution.

Mikel Nabil Sanad was arrested by military police from his house in Ain-Shams, Cairo, on March 28th 2011, He was charged with "Insulting the military institute & spreading false reports aiming to disturb public security". Although a total civilian, he was tried in a military court over 13 days, he was convicted and sentenced to 3 years in heavy security prison and a fined of 200 Pounds.

Mikel Nabil, who is now spending his sentence in El-Marg prison has commenced a hunger strike since Monday, August 22nd, his health has deteriorated rapidly since then, he was only drinking water (in hunger strikes it is advised to drink juices instead of water, that would give the body a 3 week period till sugar level drops to critical and dangerous level, instead of the 1 week period attained by only having water)

Mikel has stated the following reasons for his strike:

- The very slow process of repealing his case (we have received several complaints regarding this issue)

-The discrimination between him and other activists tried in similar cases.

Timeline following Mikel's strike:


-Mikel has commenced his strike on 4pm. Prison administration has declined to recognize and record his strike officially.


-Strike still not acknowledged officially

- Mikel was transferred to solitary confinement


- Mikel's brother (Mark) and a friend were declined visit to him (the visit pass is issued by State Security every 15 days).

- Mark requested meeting with a prison official, his request was declined as well.

- A prison guard informed them that Mikel's hunger strike is being officially registered with prison doctors at that moment.

- Mikel's father and a lawyer headed to D.A. to file a complaint so that the D.A. office would send an official to prison so supervise the process.

- Prison warden threatens Mikel that he would fabricate a "drug and insulting a prison official" cases against him.


- Information reported that the D.A has sent an advising and guidance priest in an attempt to persuade Mikel to end his hunger strike.

- Priest recorded in writing Mikel's causes for the strike, in which Mikel has added the numerous violations and the threatening which he was subjected to by the prison administration.

- Upon trying to send the fax by the priests, prison warden read the paper and refused to fax it for its content condemning him in person.

- Priest changed the content of the paper to state only that Mikel has commenced his hunger strike on Monday, August 22nd and that in 3 days, if the Supreme Council of Armed Forces didn't respond to his request he would stop having any water as well.

- Mikel's father headed to "Prisons Department" to file a report to register Mikel's strike, he was told that a report by prison administration had been filed stating that Mikel was NOT on strik, it was signed by prison officials.

Note: Mikel suffers from a heart condition and up to this moment, he has received no medical care whatsoever.

Mikel pacifist thoughts has brought him in a confrontation with the army once before , but this time , it seems that he was personally targeted in light of his article criticizing the rule of the army during the first days of the revolution and the following weeks.

it seems also that the army leadership has no willingness to accept any criticism and they use military Trials to suppress and squash any dissidents voices. According to statistics, it's estimated that over 12,000 civilians had been tried militarily and jailed post January 25th revolution.

Link to Mikel Hunger Strike Statement.doc

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