Campaigns / Appeals and Open Letters

Update Jan. 25: Maikel Nabil was released after 302 days

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been released from prison on January 25, 2012, the first anniversary of the uprising against Mubarak in Egypt. Only on December 14, 2011, Maikel had been sentenced to two years in prison without the possibility of appealing plus a fine of 200 Egyptian Pound (25 Euro) by a Egyptian military court. His release is also the result of an international solidarity campaign, in which the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin participated. In his first video statement after his release he criticizes the term "pardon", because he commited no crimes. A revision of his conviction has still to take place. 

Press Release: German NGO calls for the immediate release of the Egyptian Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad

Berlin - 29 September 2011 – The non-profit Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB) urges the German Foreign Minister to plead for the immediate release of the Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad before his hearing of an appeal which is scheduled for October 4, 2011. 

The 25 year old Maikel Nabil Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison because of his criticism of the military leadership in Egypt. Maikel Nabil Sanad criticized the brutal proceedings of the military against protestors and meticulously described the many human rights abuses. At a military court he was accused of having spread false information and having insulted the military. Without a lawyer present and without the possibility to inform his family, he was sentenced in a summary procedure. To protest for his release and against his unfair treatment Maikel Nabil started a hunger strike in August and a partly thirst strike since the middle of September. A hearing of an appeal is scheduled for October 4. Nobody knows if Maikel Nabil will still be alive at that day.

"It is against democratic standards to sentence civilians at military courts. The right of free speech of course has to include the right to criticize the military", says Sebastian Mohr, spokesperson of the Mideast Freedom Forum. "Maikel's voice is an important voice for democracy, for peace, against Islamism and authoritarian rule; a voice that needs every support, and a voice that points to the possibility that a democratic Egypt will stand for peace in the Middle East", Mohr stresses.

Maikel Nabil Sanad is the first public conscientious objector in Egypt. He calls himself to be pro-Israel and fights for a reconciliation and friendship with Israel. He is the only blogger who is imprisoned in Egypt at present.

In letters to Germany's State Department and the chairpersons of the Foreign Policy and the Human Rights Committee of the German parliament, the MFFB urged Westerwelle and the politicians to plead for the immediate release of Maikel Nabil and to support the democratic opposition members in Egypt who are advocating for a good relations with Israel and therefore for peace in the Middle East.


Protest letter to the Egyptian Ministry of Defense

To: Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Minister of Defence, Egypt

Please release Maikel Nabil Sanad immediately!

Email: mmc(at), mod(at)

Excellency Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, 

I hereby urge you to immediately release Maikel Nabil Sanad.

I have learned that Maikel Nabil Sanad was sentenced on 10 April 2011 to three years in prison for 'insulting the military institution' and 'disturbing public security' based on articles he published on his blog. He was sentenced secretly and was not represented by a lawyer. I have also learned that he started a hunger strike on 23 August. Since 12 September, he has even refused to accept liquids.

Egypt is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which guarantees the right to a fair trial in article 14, and also guarantees freedom of opinion and expression in Article 19. The newly approved interim constitution of Egypt also guarantees the right to freedom of expression and 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 criticize the role of the military during and after the revolution. The sentencing of Maikel Nabil Sanad to three years in prison 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 was tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. This again is against Egyptian and international law and legal standards. This sentence was ratified on 12 May 2011 and was announced on 22 May 2011. 

I again urge you to immediately free Maikel Nabil. The Egyptian Government is fully responsible for Maikel Nabil's well-being and will be jugded by the handling of basic human rights in this case. 




Free Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Selected Links

Maikel Nabil's Blog

Maikel Nabil's Report on Human Rights Violations 

Maikel Nabil: Messages from Prison

Maikel Nabil about himself

Amnesty International (September 26, 2011)

Facebook Free Maikel Nabil Sanad الحرية لمايكل نبيل سند

Article of Matthias Küntzel: Blogger Maikel Nabil's Hunger Strike (German Radio, September 20, 2011)

Today the focus is on saving Maikel’s life. He must immediately be released – independently of what he says. Maikel was active for some time in the Democratic Front Party, a sister party to the [German liberal party] FDP. When will Germany’s Foreign Minister finally offer him public support? But in order to approach a solution to the Middle Eastern conflict, Germany’s diplomats must make efforts towards ensuring that Maikel’s message – the call for friendship with Israel – is discussed in the arenas of the Arab capitals. Read more

Huffington Post: Maikel Nabil Sanad, On Hunger Strike in Egypt, Is Dying: Family (9/15/11)

Al Ahram, Advocates: Egyptian blogger Nabil on hunger strike may only have days left (Sept 27) 

Reuters: Hunger strike takes toll on jailed Egypt blogger (Oct 4)



Press Release of the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin in Arabic

بيان صحفى: منظمة غير حكومية ألمانية تنادى بإطلاق سراح المدون المصرى مايكل نبيل سند فورا

برلين – 29 سبتمبر 2011 – منتدى برلين لحرية الشرق الأوسط يحث وزير خارجية ألمانية بالالتماس لإطلاق سراح المدون المصرى مايكل نبيل سند فورا قبل سماع جلسة الطعن المقررة يوم 4 أكتوبر, 2011.

مايكل نبيل سند البالغ من العمر 25 سنة, تم الحكم عليه بثلاث سنوان سجن بسبب انتقاده للقيادة العسكرية فى مصر. مايكل نبيل سند انتقد الإجراءات الوحشية من الجيش ضد المعتصمين وبدقة متناهية وصف الكثير من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان. تم اتهامه فى محكمة عسكرية بنشر معلومات كاذبة وإهانة الجيش. بدون محامى حاضر ومن دون إمكانية إبلاغ عائلته, تم الحكم عليه فى عملية موجزة. لكى يحتج من أجل إطلاق سراحه وضد المعاملة الغير عادلة له, بدأ مايكل نبيل الإضراب عن الطعام فى أغسطس وإضراب عن الماء جزئيا فى منتصف سبتمبر. تم تحديد جلسة طعن يوم 4 أكتوبر. لا أحد يعلم إن بقى مايكل نبيل على قيد الحياة إلى هذا اليوم.

”هذا ضد معايير الديموقراطية أن يتم الحكم على المدنيين فى محاكم عسكرية. حق حرية التعبير بالطبع يجب أن يتضمن الحق لانتقاد الجيش“, صرح بذلك ”سباستيان مور“, المتحدث الرسمى لمنتدى حرية الشرق الأوسط.
كما أكد على أن, ”صوت مايكل مهم للديموقراطية, للسلام, ضد الأسلمة السياسية والحكم السلطوى; صوت يحتاج دعم الجميع, وصوت يشير إلى احتمال أن الديموقراطية فى مصر ستدعم السلام فى الشرق الأوسط“.

مايكل نبيل سند هو أول معترض ضميرى من الشعب المصرى. يطلق على نفسه پرو-إسرائيل ويناضل من أجل المصالحة والصداقة مع إسرائيل. هو المدون الوحيد المسجون فى مصر حاليا.

فى رسائل لوزارة الخارجية الألمانية ولرؤساء السياسة الخارجية وللجنة حقوق الإنسان للبرلمان الألمانى, حث منتدى برلين لحرية الشرق الأوسط, [وزير الخارجية] ”جيدو ڤسترڤله“ والسياسيين, الالتماس من أجل إطلاق سراح مايكل نبيل فورا ودعم أعضاء المعارضة الديموقراطية فى مصر الذين يدعون إلى علاقات طيبة مع إسرائيل وبالتالى للسلام فى الشرق الأوسط.