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Egyptian blogger sentenced to two years after retrial

Published:

An Egyptian military court sentenced a blogger who criticized the army to two years in prison on Wednesday after he went on a hunger strike to protest an initial three-year sentence.

“In the name of the people, Michael Nabil has been sentenced and punished with two years in prison and fined 200 pounds ($33),” the court said after a retrial.

Nabil, who had criticized the ruling military on his blog and called on people to avoid the draft, had been sentenced to three years in April in a widely criticized trial.

He has been on hunger strike since August. His brother Mark told AFP that Nabil “will escalate his hunger strike. He was drinking juice and milk, but now will only drink water.”

The military took charge after an uprising forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign in February.

It has faced criticism for sentencing thousands of civilians in military courts for offences ranging from assault and rape to insulting the ruling generals.

In September, the military denied Nabil was a “prisoner of conscience.”

“What Nabil wrote on his blog is unrelated to opinion; it was a clear transgression of all boundaries of insult and libel, and manufactured lies against the armed forces,” the official MENA news agency quoted a military official as saying.