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Egyptian blogger jailed for criticising army

December 15, 2011 01:35 IST

An Egyptian military court on Wednesday sentenced a blogger to two years in jail on charges of insulting the army.

The ruling by the Supreme Military Court of Appeals follows an appeal to an earlier verdict that sentenced blogger Maikel Nabil to three years in prison.

Since this is a military trial, the verdict cannot be appealed again.

Nabil's charges include insulting the armed forces, publishing false news and disturbing public security. Nabil has been on hunger strike for 113 days to protest his detention and trial and has been surviving on water and milk.

The 26-year-old blogger has also refused to apologise to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

In a Facebook statement, Nabil wrote that some military officers asked him to write an apology in exchange for his release -- an offer he turned down.

Last week, the International Federation of Liberal Youth granted Nabil its "Freedom Award" in recognition of his "firm commitment to freedom."

Nabil wrote a blog post in March titled "The army and the people weren't ever one hand," questioning the role of the military in the revolution and condemning its takeover while citing incidents in which the military was involved in arresting and torturing activists during the 18-day uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Military trials of civilians -- particularly bloggers -- have been increasingly criticised by activists and human rights watchdogs.

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