News / Africa

Rights Groups Condemn Egyptian Blogger's 3-Year Sentence

Egyptian protesters wave Libya's old national flag and an Egyptian flag as they demonstrate in the Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, April 10, 2011.
Egyptian protesters wave Libya's old national flag and an Egyptian flag as they demonstrate in the Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, April 10, 2011.

Rights groups have condemned an Egyptian military court for sentencing a blogger to three years in jail over writings critical of the armed forces, the first such case since a popular uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch Monday criticized blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad's detention, saying his trial sets "a dangerous precedent." In Paris, the media rights group Reporters Without Borders said it was "shocked" by the three-year sentence and urged authorities to free Sanad "without delay."

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information, whose legal team handled the blogger’s case, said the tribunal passed the sentence late Sunday after his lawyers had departed. The group said it had been assured the judgement would not be announced until Tuesday.

One of Sanad's lawyers, Adel Ramadan, called the ruling "a warning to all journalists, bloggers and rights activists in Egypt."

The 25-year-old was charged with "insulting the military" and "disturbing public security."

His blog had denounced the military's use of violence and detentions against democracy advocates and asserted that little has changed since Mr. Mubarak was removed from power. Sanad wrote it was the military that began detaining a number of bloggers and activists during Egypt's uprising, including him.

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency reported Monday that Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, in a speech broadcast on Egyptian television, expressed regret for a violent crackdown on demonstrators in Cairo, saying he had asked the justice minister to investigate.

Rights groups have accused the army of using excessive force while attempting to remove protesters early Saturday in one of the largest anti-government demonstrations since Mr. Mubarak was ousted.

On Monday, about 2,000 Egyptian protesters defied an army demand to leave Cairo's main Tahrir Square. They are vowing to stay until Egypt holds former officials accountable for corruption.

The demonstrators remained behind barbed wire blockades as the army kept its distance. Protesters have stepped up pressure on Egypt's ruling military to try Mr. Mubarak and members of his government for corruption and other crimes.

Egypt's Justice Ministry Monday ordered the 15-day detention of Safwat el-Sherif, the secretary-general of the ruling party and once one of the most powerful men in the country, on corruption charges.

On Sunday, Egypt's public prosecutor said he would summon Mr. Mubarak for questioning about the killing of protesters and the embezzlement of public funds, as hundreds of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square demanded he be brought to trial.

A statement from the prosecutor said Mr. Mubarak's sons Gamal and Alaa also were summoned in the corruption probe. Also, authorities detained former prime minister Ahmed Nazif for 15 days as part of a corruption investigation.

Mr. Mubarak declared in remarks broadcast Sunday that the allegations against him are unfounded.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid