Jailed Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad (right) is in critical condition after going on a hunger strike on August 23, the World Movement for Democracy reports. Sanad was arrested by the Egyptian military on March 28 for “denouncing human rights violations and the military’s close relationship with the government” on his blog, according to Reporters Without Borders.
The pro-democracy advocate has stopped drinking water and refused his medication for a heart condition to protest “his continued imprisonment, his alleged mistreatment at the hands of the military prison guards, and the delay in dealing with his appeal,” his brother Mark told the Committee to Protect Journalists. His brother is also being harassed by police.
Earlier this month, dozens of activists called for his release at a protest outside the Journalists Syndicate, demanding an end to the trials of civilians in military courts.
Sanad was one of the first bloggers to be imprisoned by the Egyptian military since the fall of Mubarak. Arab human rights advocates, Reporters Without Borders and other organizations supporting freedom of expression around the world have called on the government to free him without delay.
Civil society groups accuse the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of continuing former president Hosni Mubarak’s strategy of promoting political tensions while adopting a purely “cosmetic” approach to reform.