The Interior Ministry’s Prisons Department released blogger Maikel Nabil from Tora prison on Tuesday. Nabil has been in detention since March 2011 and was sentenced to two years by a military tribunal.
Head of the ruling military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, has issued a decree to release nearly 2,000 prisoners who were tried in military courts last year.
Nabil was released Tuesday afternoon, while other prisoners will be released Wednesday or later, a source in the Prisons Department told Al-Masry Al-Youm. One-thousand-and-fourteen prisoners will be released tomorrow before completing their sentences for the anniversary of the 25 January revolution.
In December, a military court sentenced Nabil to two years in prison and a fine of LE200 for insulting the armed forces, publishing false news and disturbing public security.
The ruling by the Supreme Military Court of Appeals followed an appeal of an earlier verdict that sentenced Nabil to three years in prison. Because the trial was held in military court, the verdict could not be appealed again.
The 26-year-old blogger has undergone a hunger strike for more than 130 days to protest his detention and trial, and he has been surviving on water and milk. Activists have staged numerous protests and organized campaigns demanding his release.
Nabil wrote a blog post in March 2011 entitled "The army and the people were never one hand," questioning the role of the military in the revolution and condemning the takeover of the ruling military council. He also cited incidents in which the military was involved in arresting and torturing activists during the 18-day uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm