Hunger strike takes toll on jailed Egypt blogger

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 04, 2011 4:13 AM
Hunger strike takes toll on jailed Egypt blogger

CAIRO (Reuters) - A jailed Egyptian blogger, whose appeal against his conviction for spreading false information about Egypt's military will be heard on Tuesday, is in declining health because of a hunger strike he began on August 23, a rights group said.

Reporters Without Borders, which described Maikel Nabil, 25, as a "prisoner of conscience," said he was suffering from serious renal problems, anemia and scabies.

The group said it had written to the attorney-general in Cairo on September 26 asking to visit Nabil in prison but had received no reply. His family say he is only drinking water.

Nabil is serving a three-year sentence after a military court convicted him over Facebook remarks in which he allegedly said the armed forces had tried to suppress demonstrators who overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February. He was arrested at his home in Cairo in March and tried two weeks later.

"This appeal is the last chance for the authorities to show a commitment to human rights, justice and democracy. The court must recognize that he was unfairly convicted by a court martial because of his views and his articles," Reporters Without Borders said.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Alistair Lyon)