Blogger released on eve of Jan 25 anniversary

Blogger released on eve of Jan 25 anniversary

Egypt has released Maikel Nabil, a 26 year old blogger who was jailed 10 months ago for insulting the military.
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Maikel Nabil. Circulated photo courtesy Alarabiya.

Blogger Maikel Nabil who was jailed last year for insulting Egypt's armed forces was released on January 24, having been imprisoned 10 months ago for insulting the military.

Nabil's brother Mark confirmed his release on the social networking site Twitter, and posted a photograph of the 26 year old making the peace sign.

Nabil was pardoned on January 21 on the occasion of the first anniversary of January 25," when the uprising began against veteran president Hosni Mubarak," the military judiciary chief said.

A military justice official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP some 1,959 other prisoners would also be freed to mark the anniversary.

Newspapers also reported the mass release. 

In a blog he wrote last March, after Mubarak stepped down on February 11, Nabil said the army had been protecting its own interests and not those of the Egyptian people. 

An initial three-year sentence was reduced on appeal last month to two years. Nabil's arrest in March and sentencing sparked outrage abroad.

"If Maikel Nabil perishes, so does the dream of a free Egypt," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, after the blogger went on hunger strike.

The 26 year old blogger refused to be certified insane, and was close to death on several occasions during his imprisonment. 

Confusion and disappointment

Despite early reports suggesting Nabil would be released on January 22, tweets from the social networking site Twitter have been suggesting for days that his freedom would be delayed. 

Alarabiya newspaper said a decision "to postpone his exit has put a dampener on the celebratory mood for his supporters."

To read tweets dedicated to Nabil's case, search for the hashtag #freemaikel.

Source: AFP, Reports

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