Monday, August 29, 2011

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


Update - October 1: Yesterday was Maikel Nabil's 26th birthday - and his 38th day of hunger strike. His health is in critical condition.

Update - August 31: Maikel Nabil has been on a thirst strike for 24 hours now and the prison's administration not letting anyone in. We don't know if he is alive or not

Maikel Nabil, Egyptian blogger and activist. Maikel received a 3-year prison sentence after a military trial for expressing criticism of the Egyptian army and its leadership throughout the revolution on his blog. Maikel is considered the first prisoner of conscience in Egypt post January 25.

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

Maikel Nabil, who is now spending his sentence in El-Marg prison, commenced a hunger strike on Monday, August 22nd, and his health has deteriorated rapidly since then. He has been drinking only water instead of the juice hunger strikers normally drink to delay blood sugar dropping to a critical level.

Maikel has stated the following reasons for his strike:

  • The very slow appeals process (we have received several complaints regarding this issue).
  • The discrimination between him and other activists committing similar "offences".

Timeline following Maikel's strike:

Monday:

  • Maikel commenced his strike at 4pm. Prison administration has declined to recognize and record his strike officially.

Wednesday:

  • Strike still not acknowledged officially
  • Maikel was transferred to solitary confinement

Thursday:

  • Maikel's brother (Mark) and a friend were not permitted to visit him (the visit pass is issued by State Security every 15 days).
  • Mark requested meeting with a prison official, and his request was denied.
  • A prison guard informed them that Maikel's hunger strike is being officially registered with prison doctors
  • Maikel's father and a lawyer headed to the Prosecutor to file a complaint so that the Prosecutor's office would send an official to prison so supervise the process.
  • Prison warden threatens Maikel with fabricating a drug and insulting prison official charges against him.

Saturday:

  • The Prosecutor sent a priest in an attempt to persuade Maikel to end his hunger strike. The priest recorded in writing Maikel's reasons for the strike, to which Maikel has added the numerous violations and threats he was subjected to by the prison administration.
  • The prison warden refused to fax the priest's report to the authorities because it implicated him personally, upon which the priest changed his report to state only that Maikel commenced his hunger strike on Monday, August 22nd and that in 3 days, if the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces didn't respond to his request for relief he would stop drinking any water as well.
  • Maikel's father headed to the Prison Authority to file a report to register Maikel's strike, and was told that a report by prison administration had been filed stating that Maikel was NOT on strike, witnessed by prison officials.

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

Link to Maikel's Hunger Strike Statement.doc