This is a follow-up to my earlier post entitled “Tyranny in Egypt” about Egyptian political prison Maikel Nabil, his hunger strike, and his quest for justice in a country in upheaval…
I have two questions. How many times have people who told the truth been persecuted? Truth is what it is. But when the truth is unpalatable to some, it can be followed by retribution. Then it takes many courageous people to do what is required to right the wrong. Sometimes this actually happens, but I bet more often than not it never does.
My second question has to deal with assholes. What good is a revolution to displace an asshole if the result is only more assholes?
In other words, what the hell is going on in Egypt?
This story began when Egyptian blogger and activist Maikel Nabil wrote the truth about the Army in Egypt that had come to power after the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Nabil wrote on his blog about the treatment of protestors by the Army, including torture and killings.
He was arrested, by the Army, found guilty, by the Army, and quickly sentenced, by the Army, to three years in jail including hard labor. Although a civilian, Nabil was convicted by military trial.
Mubarak was gone and Nabil was jail for reporting the news. I guess another way to frame the issue is to ask: If the Army did indeed torture and kill protestors, how can people be jailed for reporting the truth? His crime? “Insulting the Army.”
The Washington Post reports that more than 12,000 Egyptians have been convicted in “hasty military trials” since top Army generals assumed power on Feb. 11.
Nabil responded by going on a hunger strike. Eventually so weakened and near death, he was transferred to a “psychiatric prison” for treatment. At the time, the Army said it would reconsider Nabil’s status.
Nabil remains on hunger strike, which has lasted approx. 114 days, and reportedly survives on water and milk. Family members have asked him to eat, but Nabil has said he will continue to fast until dead or released.
Military offices apparently made an offer to Nabil to be released in exchange for an apology. Nabil refused.
Yesterday, Dec. 16, a military board of appeals reduced the sentence and sentenced Nabil to two years in jail. Because the sentence was issued by the military, there can be no appeal.
Meanwhile, search the internet for “Egypt” and you’ll find news stories such as “Egypt’s military clashes with protesters; 9 killed” as recent as one hour ago (Dec. 17th). That story reports that “soldiers severely beat a young man who was part of a sit-in outside the Cabinet building.”
The Huffington Post reports that the United States has called for the release of Nabil while continuing to provide “unconditional” aid to Egypt’s military leaders.