Egypt court jails blogger for criticizing Army

The 26-year-old blogger has also refused to apologize to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2011, 00:50 AM IST

Cairo: An Egyptian military court on Wednesday
sentenced a blogger to two years in jail on charges of
insulting the Army.

The ruling by the Supreme Military Court of Appeals
follows an appeal to an earlier verdict that sentenced blogger
Maikel Nabil to three years in prison.

Since this is a military trial, the verdict cannot be
appealed again.

Nabil`s charges include insulting the armed forces,
publishing false news and disturbing public security. Nabil
has been on hunger strike for 113 days to protest his
detention and trial and has been surviving on water and milk.

The 26-year-old blogger has also refused to apologize to
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt`s ruling
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

In a Facebook statement, Nabil wrote that some military
officers asked him to write an apology in exchange for his
release an offer he turned down.

Last week, the International Federation of Liberal Youth
granted Nabil its "Freedom Award" in recognition of his "firm
commitment to freedom."

Nabil wrote a blog post in March titled "The army and the
people weren`t ever one hand," questioning the role of the
military in the revolution and condemning its takeover while
citing incidents in which the military was involved in
arresting and torturing activists during the 18-day uprising
that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Military trials of civilians particularly bloggers
have been increasingly criticized by activists and human
rights watchdogs.

PTI