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EGYPT: Conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad / fear or detention

Activist:
Country:
  • Egypt
Has been sent:
  • Yes
Alert:

War Resisters' International is concerned about the liberty and safety of Egyptian conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad from Cairo.

Maikel Nabil Sanad finished his college education last year, and has now been informed by the military authorities on 18 October that he is to report to the College of Reserve Officers at Fayed (Ismailia) on 22 October 2010, to begin serving his compulsory military service.

Maikel Nabil SanadMaikel Nabil SanadMaikel Nabil Sanad's decision is clear: he will not report for military service. In his statement, he writes: "I thought too much and my decision was that I would refuse to do the military service in Egypt and I would bear the consequences whatever they would be. Despite of my knowledge that the consequences would be a misfortune as I am considered the first Egyptian youth to reject the compulsory military service because of my pacifist beliefs."

(...)

"But, my words don’t mean that I am an evader of the military recruitment. I am rejecting, not evading. I live in the same address written on my identification card which is known to the Administration of Recruitment and Mobilization, the Military Security Forces and the Intelligence, which also is written in my letters to Minister of Defense, the Prime Minister, Heads of both Houses of Parliament and the President of the Republic. I am not hiding anywhere so the Egyptian police can arrest me anywhere and I am fully prepared to deliver myself to justice once I am being informed that I am wanted.

There is no experience in Egypt regarding treatment of conscientious objectors to military service. There is a risk that Maikel Nabil Sanad might be arrested for not reporting for military service, and could be punished with a prolongation of military service - which could lead to a vicious cycle of refusal and sentencing. However, once detained, it is also possible that charges for disobeying orders would be brought, based on the experience from other countries.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support for Maikel Nabil Sanad to the Minister of Defence of Egypt, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. A support email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/11420 .

War Resisters' International calls on the Egyptian authorities to respect Maikel Nabil Sanad's conscientious objection, and to exempt him from military service.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International