I hope to write more on the background to his imprisonment shortly, but today saw the first high-level political reaction to his imprisonment. Trine Skei Grande, the leader of the Liberal Party of Norway, has condemned Mr Nabil’s imprisonment in a statement which I translate below.
Norway must condemn arrest of Egyptian blogger
The Liberal Party is deeply concerned that a military court in Egypt has sentenced the young blogger Maikel Nabil to imprisonment because of an article in which he criticizes the military regime. “It is disappointing to see this setback for the Egyptian democracy,” says Trine Skei Grande.
A military court in Egypt sentenced the internet activist to three years in prison for criticizing the military’s role during the demonstrations in Egypt. The 26-year-old is believed to be the first blogger jailed in Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak resigned. This was the first lawsuit against a blogger conducted by a military court since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took control after Mubarak’s departure on 11 February.
“Maikel Nabil must be released. I’m worried that the case may set a dangerous precedent at a time when Egypt is trying to move away from the Mubarak era,” says Trine Skei Grande. She asks the Norwegian government take the matter up with the regime in Egypt and demand that freedom of expression is respected in the nascent Egyptian democracy.
End of statement
To follow the latest developments about Maikel Nabil you can follow the hashtags #MaikelNabil and #FreeMaikel on Twitter. I will also be writing more about this deeply troubling case on my blog, so please subscribe if you want to keep up to date.
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