2011-04-12

Letter from Army to Egyptian Newspapers: Not to Publish Any Content About the Military

On February 22, Gen. Ismail Etman, head of the Morale Affairs Directorate of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, sent a letter to editors of Egyptian newspapers telling them "not to publish any articles/news/press releases/complaints/advertising/pictures concerning the armed forces or the leadership of the armed forces, except after consulting the Morale Affairs directorate and the Military Intelligence since these are the competent parties to examine such issues to protect the safety of the nation." Human Rights Watch has seen a photocopy of this letter and confirmed its authenticity.


خطاب من الجيش إلي الصحف المصرية بعدم نشر اي محتوى يخص القوات المسلحة إلا بعد الحصول على إذن.

2011-04-11

Egypt: Blogger Sentenced to 3 Years for Insulting the Military

Along the many years where the former president Hosni Mubarak ruled the country we didn’t witness large scale of cases where a blogger gets jailed for a blog-post. The first case in Egypt was in 2007 when Kareem Amer was sentenced for 4 years in jail based on blog-posts, he was charged for insulting Islam and Mubarak.

On 6 April 2011, a military tribunal took place against Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil, 26 years-old, on charges of “insulting the military” and yesterday 10 April the court sentenced Nabil for 3 years in prison.

Maikel Nabil is sent to prison over blog-post he wrote about violations committed by the military offices against civilians since the revolution and criticizing the army in Egypt.

During the past few years, Egyptian activists and journalists have broke many taboos through media platforms. The army and military forces was one of the main taboos during Mubarak’s time and is still a “red-line” in the offline media, and now the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is threatening the online community by “punishing” netziens for practicing the right to freedom of expression and speaking about the military behavior.

The army in Egypt is sending a clear message that they don’t accept criticism and the charges against Nabil could be easily set against any other Egyptian netizen and human rights defenders to stop them from addressing human rights violations committed by military officers.

*Published via Global Voices Advocacy.