Jailed Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who has been on hunger strike since August 23, has been transferred to a prison infirmary after suffering serious heart problems, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Thursday.
It came after Lebanese blogger Imad Bazzi, who is the executive director of CyberACT and has written the Trella.org blog since 1998, said he was questioned by three men in plain clothes at Cairo airport about his online activism before being put on the first plane back to Beirut.
He told Reporters Without Borders: “I am convinced that I was deported because I visited Maikel Nabil Sanad two months ago. He has long been a good friend of mine. Several organizations have said I was on an official blacklist since then, on the orders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, because of my activism on behalf of civil liberties and media freedom.”
Sanad, who is serving a three-year sentence in Cairo’s Al-Marg prison, was rushed to the prison’s hospital with heart problems on September 1, two days after he stopped drinking liquids on the 8th day of his hunger strike. He says he plans to resume his hunger strike regardless of the outcome.
Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that it “deplores the stubbornness of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The situation of bloggers now is reminiscent of the repression that prevailed before Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February.
“Reporters Without Borders reiterates its appeal to the authorities to free Sanad at once and to stop obstructing the free movement of news and information professionals.”
Sanad was the first blogger in the post-Mubarak era to be imprisoned for criticizing the military.