Trial against pacifist blogger and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad

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Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Minister of Defense Mohamed Hussein Tantawi). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Note: Please use the updated protest letter at http://wri-irg.org/node/12728

I have learned that pacifist and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad has been arrested in the night of 28 March 2011 by the military, to appear in military court on the same day, on so far unknown charges. It seems he is being charged with "insulting the military institution" and "disturbing public security", based on articles he published on his blog.

Egypt is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Conscientious objection to military service is a human right, derived from article 18 of the ICCPR, as repeatedly stated by the UN Human Rights Committee.

The newly approved interim constitution of Egypt also guarantees the right to freedom of expression, and the freedom of the press.

In his writings, Maikel Nabil Sanad made use of his right to freedom of opinion and expression. This includes his right to criticise the role of the military during and after the revolution.

The arrest of Maikel Nabil Sanad is a violation of his human rights - especially his right to freedom of opinion and expression and his right to a fair trial. In addition, Maikel Nabil Sanad is being tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. This again is against Egyptian and international law and legal standards.

To sentence Maikel Nabil Sanad would cast serious doubt on the new interim constitution, and its implementation. It would be a grave violation of this constitution.

I urge you to immediately release Maikel Nabil Sanad. I urge you to respect human rights.

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