Jailed blogger resumes hunger strike, in critical condition again

Published on Saturday 17 September 2011.
While the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces threatens to use the state of emergency law against all journalists who “endanger social peace,” the blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad¸ Egypt’s first prison of conscience since the revolution, is still in prison, has reportedly resumed his hunger strike and is in a critical physical condition again.
“We urge the Supreme Council to release Sanad and all the other prisoners of conscience at once,” Reporters Without Borders said. “A security policy involving the jailing of journalists and bloggers convicted by military courts is steadily undermining hopes of a democratic transition in Egypt.”
According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, Sanad has resumed his hunger strike and is again refusing to drink. In messages to his brother on 13 and 14 September, he reportedly said he was “unable to leave bed now” and suffered “loss of vision” as soon as he stood up.
Sanad has also denied telling the prison authorities that he wanted no more visits. “Do not believe so much the army officers or the military judges, because they lie too much,” he wrote. “I am not refusing visits and I strongly need them.” His brother and presidential candidate Bothaina Kamel are among the people who have repeatedly tried to visit him in Cairo’s Al-Marg prison. “I wanted to see [you], but the prison administration were the ones to refuse.”
Arrested on 28 March for denouncing human rights violations and the military’s close relationship with the government in his blog (http://www.maikelnabil.com), Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison by a military court on 10 April. He began a hunger strike on 23 August and stopped drinking a week later. He was rushed to the prison infirmary on 3 September.
After being hospitalized, Sanad let it be known that he was determined to resume his hunger strike and stop drinking against regardless of the outcome.
Reporters Without Borders urges the Supreme Council to free Sanad without delay, so that it is not held responsible for the blogger’s death in detention.