Jailed blogger's retrial adjourned again as military plays for time

Published on Monday 3 October 2011. Updated on Wednesday 19 October 2011.
Reporters Without Borders deplores the latest adjournment yesterday of jailed blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad’s retrial by court martial on a charge of insulting the armed forces in his blog. After Sanad’s original conviction was overturned on appeal, the retrial was initially scheduled to have begun on 13 October.
“We condemn this persistence in persecuting Sanad and call for his immediate release,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This military court should dismiss the charges against him. The repeated postponement of the hearings and the refusal to release him on bail are being used to prolong his detention. The original trial was unfair and violated the principles of justice. After its verdict was rightly quashed, the retrial must not be used to repeat the first trial.”
Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about Sanad’s state of health. He has been detained for nearly seven months and has been on hunger strike for 57 days. His relatives say they are alarmed about the deterioration in his physical condition and fear he could die. The authorities are still refusing to hospitalize him.
Sanad told his brother Mark on 17 October that he intended to boycott the retrial. Neither he, nor his family nor his lawyer went to the military court yesterday for the scheduled start of the new trial. According to his brother, Sanad does not want to participate in “this soap opera that the military has cooked up.”
A campaign in support of Sanad as well as campaigns in support of jailed bloggers and conscientious objectors in other countries is available on this website.