Report: Maikel Nabil Sanad transferred to psychiatric hospital
18 Oct 11

Sahar Maher, human rights activist and a member of the Free Maikel campaign, has told Index that authorities are transferring Maikel Nabil to a “mental hospital”, where he would be “put under watch for 45 days to make sure his mental situation is OK”. Nabil, who was handed a three-year prison sentence for criticising the practice of trying civilians in military courts, was scheduled to have a re-trial today, but is refusing to stand trial. Family members fear that Nabil, who has been on hunger strike for 57 days, will die while imprisoned. On 17 October, Nabil made a statement from El-Marg prison on his reasons for refusing to attend his trial:

I also felt great insult from the insistence of my lawyers to ignore my willingness in boycotting the military judiciary, and their insistence to impose a guardianship on me and to litigate before the military judiciary without my knowledge and against my will. That’s why I announce that I won’t attend tomorrow’s session, and that no lawyer represents me before the military judiciary. May the militarists go to hell with their ugly theatrical play, I don’t beg for my freedom from a group of killers and homeland stealers.

Maher said that she supports Nabil’s decision, and added that “the judges don’t care about how people feel or what people do.” Maher, who is pessimistic about Nabil’s future, saw him yesterday and described him as looking “very ill and very weak”. Since Nabil’s lawyers did not attend court, Maher said that the court “commissioned another lawyer from the military court itself”, and that the lawyer asked that Nabil be moved to a mental hospital, and the court accepted the suggestion. Now that Nabil may be transferred to the hospital, Maher is worried that he will be kept in the hospital, and that he will be in captivity indefinitely.

Maher, who was arrested earlier this month while demonstrating for Nabil’s release, mentioned that she has faced a series of threats for speaking out against military trials and the treatment of Nabil, much like his father and brother. In his statement, Nabil condemned the threats against Maher and his family members:

I was saddened for the militarists’ chasing of the leaderships of the movement and especially my sister and my colleague Sahar Maher and threatening them with death, imprisonment and attempting to recruit them to the Intelligence as the militarists attempted with me and fail continually.

Maher said that “being threatened” is the least of her worries, and that she is more concerned with “what the country is going through.”