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Egypt: Free Speech on Military Trial in Post-Revolution Egypt

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Politics, Protest

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011 [1].

Bloggers and freedom of speech and human rights defenders are holding their breath as Egypt's military courts decide the fate of two bloggers today. Maikel Nabil Sanad's trial continues today. Also, a military court judge will decide whether Alaa Abd El Fattah will be released or will spend another 15 days behind bars, pending investigations on what defenders say are trumped up charges.

Louisa Loveluck reminds us:

@leloveluck [2]: Important day for freedom of speech in #Egypt [3]: #MaikelNabil [4] court ruling and #Alaa [5] Abdelfattah investigation both taking place.

Sarrah Abdelrahman explains:

@sarrahsworld [6]: today is critical. Maikel Nabil court ruling. Alaa Abdelfattah investigation

Hossam Eid calls on supporters to turn up at the hearing. He tweets:

@EidH: [7] If you could show up at S28 in support with Alaa and all the military trailed Egyptians that would be great

And Rasha Abdulla is on her way to the trial, accompanied by Abd El Fattah's nine-month pregnant wife Manal Hassan, to C28, the headquarters of the military prosecutors:

@RashaAbdulla [8]: Will now pick up @manal [9] @Azza_Shaaban [10] to S28 where Alaa's case will be tried. join us at Nasr city near microbus stop

Both Sanad and Abd El Fattah refuse to acknowledge the military court trying them. Sanad was arrested [11] days after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as the president of Egypt, and was sentenced in April to three years in prison for posts he published on his blog.

The charges against Sanad are insulting the armed forces, publishing false information on his blog and disturbing public security. Last month, the Supreme Military Court of Appeals annulled the conviction but continued to hold Sanad, who had started a hunger strike, transferring him to a mental health facility.

Back in prison, Sanad continued with his hunger strike and his defiance to accept being subjected to the trial of a military court, a stance similar to Abd El Fattah, who was detained [12]on October 30, after refusing to be interrogated by the Military Prosecutor, in protest against its legitimacy. Abd El Fattah is accused of inciting violence against the military, overtaking armed forces weapons and damaging military equipment.

Since January 28, more than 12,000 civilians have been put on military trials in Egypt.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011 [1].

Thumbnail image shows Egypt flag. By Flickr user No Lands Too Foreign [13] (CC BY 2.0).