Egypt: Released Blogger Maikel Nabil Continues to Speak Out against Military Rule

Human Wrongs Watch

By Shahira Amin* in Cairo

Ten months in a tiny prison cell with padded walls and flickering lights have done little to alter 26 year-old Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil’s views on the military government running Egypt in the transitional phase. Instead, his confinement appears to have only strengthened his resolve to continue the fight against what he describes as a “corrupt regime” that he hopes, will soon be toppled.

**Photo: Lilian Wagdy | Wikimedia Commons

Instead, his confinement appears to have only strengthened his resolve to continue the fight against what he describes as a “corrupt regime” that he hopes, will soon be toppled.

Maikel was released on the 24th of January after the military rulers announced they would pardon 1959 political detainees (who had faced military tribunals) ahead of the first anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.

The move was seen by skeptics as an attempt to appease a public that has grown increasingly weary of heavy handed military rule. Maikel had been charged with allegedly “spreading rumours about the army and insulting the military establishment” but insists these were “trumped up charges” to punish him for publicly criticising the military in his blog posts.

Are you not Egyptian?”

Leading a protest through the streets of downtown Cairo on Saturday [29 Jan.], Maikel chanted anti-military slogans and beckoned to fellow Egyptians on the street to join the rally. “Are you not Egyptian?” he cried.

Have your rights not been violated?” Scores of young activists — many of whom had themselves been subjected to torture and abuse at the hands of security forces — chanted after him.

Down with Military Rule!”

Their cries of “Down with military rule!” and “Yes, we dare to chant against the military” were met with nods of approval from pedestrians and commuters, some of whom signalled a thumbs up in agreement.

Earlier in a press conference at the Journalists’ Syndicate, Maikel shocked journalists with a graphic account of his jail experience.

He recalled having endured verbal abuse and mockery by prison guards and interrogators, being forced to watch fellow convicts being tortured and having had chemicals sprayed up his nose and drugs infused in his meals in attempts to manipulate his thinking.

Maikel was then transferred to El- Abbasiya Mental Health Hospital for checks on his sanity. Doctors had resisted pressure from authorities to declare him psychologically unstable for refusing to stand trial, he said.

Samira Ibrahim

Samira Ibrahim, a protester who had been detained and subjected to a forced virginity test on the 9 March for camping out in Tahrir Square joined Maikel’s march from the Journalists’ Syndicate to Tahrir Square.

She challenged the military council, filing a lawsuit against military rulers for humiliating checks performed on 17 female protesters by a male doctor in the Cairo Museum grounds.

She lamented that despite a ruling by a Cairo Administrative Court in December declaring an end to the practice, “attempts are underway to change the charge from rape to indecent assault.”

Will Not Rest Until the Military Returns to the Barracks”

Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets Saturday to commemorate the “Friday of Rage” — the worst day of violence in last year’s mass uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

The biggest rally was held on Kasr El Nil Bridge, scene of last year’s bloody clashes between security forces and pro-democracy activists. The protesters demanded justice for the victims and their families, vowing to continue the revolution until their demands are met.

Joining the Kasr el Nil protest, Maikel warned the revolutionaries that their struggle against the military dictatorship must continue “lest the revolution be aborted and they all end up behind bars.”

He and the other activists pledged they will not rest until the military returns to the barracks, handing over power to a civilian government.

and are moving on the right track,” said 35 year-old activist Hazem Mahmoud, with a broad smile on his face.

*Shahira Amin is a well know Egyptian journalist and analyst. Currently she is Senior Anchor/ Correspondent, Nile TV, and CNN contributor. Amin resigned from NileTV on February, in an open protest against the biased, pro-regime coverage of the Egyptian revolution, which she actively joined in Tahrir Square. She is known for her unwavering defence of freedom, democracy, social justice and gender equality. Shahira Amin’s article was first posted by Index on Censorship. Go to OriginalRelated: Egypt: Blogger Passes 40th Day of Hunger Strike

Also read:

Egypt: Jubilation, But…

Egypt…The Revolution Goes On!

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Egypt, the Year After – Media Revolution Only Beginning

Who Will Partner Egypt’s Muslim Brothers?

“New Egyptian Parliament to Dismantle Tools of Repression”

UN Voices Alarm at Egyptian Military Junta’s Raids on NGOs

Egypt: No More ‘Virginity Tests’ by the Military

Egypt: Military Junta, More Repressive Than Mubarak

Unstoppable Revolution in Egypt

‘The Egyptian Revolution Was Inevitable And It Is Irreversible’

Why Didn’t the Secularists Do Better in the Egyptian Election?

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**Photo: Lilian Wagdy | Wikimedia Commons

2012 Human Wrongs Watch

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