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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid