Maikel Nabil Sanad Joins CyberDissidents Blogger Board
The following article originally appeared on AHR Partner CyberDissidents.org. To access the original, click here.
CyberDissidents.org is delighted to announce that famed Egyptian blogger, Maikel Nabil Sanad, recently released from nearly a year in prison, will join our blogger board.
Sanad was born in Assiut, Egypt on October 1, 1985. In 2006 Sanad began writing political commentary online and since has published over 1,000 blog posts and over 200 online articles. He has also recently been published in The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
In April 2009, Sanad founded a political movement opposing mandatory military service in Egypt called the “No for Compulsory Military Service Movement.” Maikel became a conscientious objector, refusing to perform compulsory military service, and continued his campaign against compulsory service even after his exemption in November, 2010. He is also a vocal critic of Egypt’s cold relations with Israel, and includes a Hebrew section on his blog.
Since he began his political activities, Sanad has been arrested several times. Most recently, he was arrested on March 28, 2011, for a blog post criticizing the role of the military following the January 25 protests that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.
Considered by many to be the first prisoner of conscious following the ousting of Mubarak, Sanad was arrested at night at his home in Ein Shams and was detained for 302 days. The blog post for which he was arrested questioned the army’s political ambitions following the fall of the Mubarak regime. One of Nabil’s most immediate demands sought the end of military trials for civilians, a stipulation that Egypt’s emergency laws protected for decades.
In protest of his own military trial that took place in March, Nabil began a hunger strike that lasted for four months and attracted the attention of U.S. policy makers in addition to the online community. Nabil forwarded his appreciation of the international support, particularly from Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Frank Wolf, through a statement published in Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
In December, 2011, AHR Board Member and renowned human rights lawyer Canadian MP Irwin Cotler began advocating for Nabil’s release internationally. Cotler served as his international lawyer and in addition to pushing for Nabil’s release on a variety of international media outlets, he brought the case to the attention of the Canadian government.
There were global appeals for Sanad’s release throughout the summer and fall of 2011 in tandem with the U.S. policy makers as well as M.P. Irwin Cotler. CyberDissidents.org co-founder David Keyes published an article in the Huffington Post called “Why the World Should Care About Maikel Nabil.”
Sanad credits his release from prison in January to the massive support that he received from the international community, including the efforts of AHR Board Member Irwin Cotler and CyberDissidents.org.
Sanad vows to continue advocating for freedom and democracy for all Egyptians.
To read his most recent op-ed from the March 20, 2012 The Wall Street Journal, click here.