Egyptian blogger sentence is an insult to press freedom

New York, December 14, 2011– The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing of Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad by a military court to two years in prison and a fine for insulting the military and calls for his immediate, unconditional release. Sanad, initially arrested in March was sentenced in April by a military court to three years in prison.

“Today’s military court ruling hardly amounts to a reduction of the sentence since Sanad has already been imprisoned for nine months,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Sanad, who was subjected to the inherently arbitrary proceedings of a military tribunal, should not have been imprisoned in the first place.”

The blogger began a hunger strike in August to protest his continued imprisonment and alleged mistreatment by military prison guards. Sanad suffers from a serious heart condition that requires medical attention.