Maikel Nabil Sanad

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Maikel Nabil Sanad
Born (1985-10-01)October 1, 1985 (aged 28)
Asyut, Egypt
Residence Washington, DC
Nationality Egyptian
Known for Political activism, blogging, leader of No to Compulsory Military Service Movement

Maikel Nabil Sanad[1] (also transcribed as Michael [2] Arabic: مايكل نبيل سند‎, IPA: [ˈmɑjkel næˈbiːl ˈsænæd]; born in 1985 in Asyut), is a political activist and blogger. He had his Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine from Asyut University in 2009, then he studied law in Cairo University and Public Policy in Erfurt University. He is known for promoting liberal democratic values in Egypt, and campaigning for peaceful relations between Egypt and Israel.

Peace activism[edit]

On 9 April 2009 Nabil founded the No to Compulsory Military Service movement. In October 2010, he declared his conscientious objection, and he wrote a blog post about that,[3] demanding to be exempted from military service. Instead, he was arrested on 12 November 2010 by military police but was released the next day, and finally exempted from service on medical grounds.

Nabil now with his movement supports other conscientious objectors to the military service like Emad Dafrawi and Mohamed Fathi. The "No to Compulsory Military Service" movement also protested in April 2013 for the freedom of the Israeli Conscientious Objector Natan Blanc.


Nabil participated actively in the Egyptian revolution. He was arrested on 4 February by military police and was tortured,[citation needed] but released 27 hours later.[4] He was arrested in his home in the Ain Shams neighborhood in Cairo at about 5 PM on 28 March 2011 by the military intelligence. He was only able to call his brother the next day to inform him of his arrest.[5]

Nabil was sentenced to three years imprisonment on charges of "insulting the military" in his post "The Army and The People Were Never One Hand" by the 10th of Ramadan military court in Nasr City near Cairo on 10 April. Before this, he was imprisoned in a special punishment cell at El Marg prison, which did not allow him any sunlight. In addition, he was placed with common criminal cellmates who threatened him. He also was denied access to decent food and was forced to shower in dirty water and sleep on insect-laden bedding.[citation needed] He suffered severe allergies on all parts of his body due to the insect-laden bedding.[citation needed] Nabil demanded a doctor, as he suffers from unstable blood pressure and a heart condition and needs regular medication and medical attention.[5] He began a hunger strike August 23, 2011. During his hunger strike he suffered two comas and was close to death on numerous occasions.[6]

On 14 December 2011 the Egyptian supreme military court of appeals reduced his sentence to a two-year jail sentence, despite appeals to be freed.[7][8] A call for a demonstration protesting against Maikel Nabil's imprisonment was announced through social media to take place on 29 December at the Tahrir Square.[9][10]

Nabil was pardoned by the military ruling council on 23 January 2012.[11] He spoke of his experiences at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy a few weeks later.[12]

Political views[edit]

Nabil describes himself on his blog as "Liberal, Secular, Capitalist, Feminist, Pro-Western, Pro-Peace, Atheist, Materialist, Realist, Pro-Globalist, Intactivist, Anti-militarist, Pacifist".[1] He is known for promoting free market economy as part of liberal democracy. He is also part of an Egyptian campaign acting against male circumcision. He supports LGBT rights and abortion.

Nabil is known also for promoting peaceful relations between Egypt and Israel. In his declaration of refusal of the military service in October 2010 he stated: "I'm not ready to carry an arm against an Israeli soldier, obligatory recruited, who defends the right of his country to exist."[3] Later in December 2010, he wrote the article "Why I'm a pro-Israel", which was republished later on Al-Tawassul, the Arabic official website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. when the Egyptian revolution started in 2011, Nabil broadcast a message to Israelis on his YouTube channel, calling Israelis to support the Egyptian revolution, arguing that democratic Egypt will be a friend of Israel. In April 2012 Nabil travelled to Germany to study in Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt. In December 2012, he visited Israel and Palestine, and he wrote an article called "Let There be Peace" and he gave public lectures at both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Universities, and he also visited the PLO in Ramallah.

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Maikel has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and for the Reporters Without Borders Netizen Prize. He received the First Freedom Award in 2011 from The International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), was chosen as the Honorary Writer of year 2012 by, and he was chosen among the best Egyptian bloggers by The Daily Beast in January 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Maikel Nabil Sanad مايكل نبيل سند: About me". 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  2. ^ VOA News: Imprisoned Egyptian Blogger's Hunger Strike Fights Military Rule (13 October 2011)
  3. ^ a b "I Would Not Serve in the Egyptian Military and I Bear the Consequences". Maikel Nabil Sanad. 21 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Maikel Nabil Sanad". Me Forum. 
  5. ^ a b "EGYPT: Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad arrested for insulting the military | War Resisters' International". Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  6. ^ Raslan, Sarah (27 September 2011). "Advocates: Egyptian blogger Nabil on hunger strike may only have days left". Ahram Online. 
  7. ^ "Maikel Nabil Sanad’s two-year jail term "insults spirit of Egyptian revolution"". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  8. ^ Knafo, Saki (15 September 2011). "Maikel Nabil Sanad, On Hunger Strike in Egypt, Is Dying". Retrieved 2011-12-29.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ "Press Release: The Imminent Death of Blogger Maikel Nabil, Imprisoned by the Egyptian Military". No Military Trials for Civilians. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  10. ^ "The Story of Maikel Nabil - SCAF Crimes". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  11. ^ Jack Shenker (22 January 2012). "Egypt pardons jailed blogger as generals brace for anniversary protests". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Program, Tuesday, March 13, 2012". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. 

External links[edit]

Official sites
Further reading