An Egyptian blogger recently pardoned by the military junta urged activists to continue their revolution against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
«I tell the revolutionaries, if the revolution does not continue and you stop, then you will all end up in prison, and maybe even worse,» Maikel Sanad Nabil said Saturday in his first news conference in Cairo since he was freed.
The 26-year Coptic Christian had been imprisoned since March last year and charged with insulting the military rulers after documenting their violations on his blog following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February.
One famous statement on his blog reads, «The people and the military were never one hand»
Nabil is the first prisoner of conscience in post-revolutionary Egypt. His imprisonment sparked an outcry from prominent rights groups such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders.
Rights groups called for his release and urged the military rulers controlling the country in the transitional phase to show a «commitment to human rights, justice and democracy.»
The head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, pardoned at least 1,900 prisoners, including Nabil, days before the first anniversary of the January 25 uprising hoping to appease protesters calling on him to step down and hand authority to a civilian body.
Nabil described his ill-treatment in prison, saying the experience left him more defiant about his convictions.
«I was not allowed a phone call and was blindfolded as I entered the military intelligence prison and kept in a 1-meter-by-1-meter cell with no lights and matted walls,» he said.»There was a glass window in the cell only allowing some light through a light bulb switching on and off every minute designed to psychologically damage people and cause hysteria as I learned later from doctors.»
Upon his transfer to the infamous C28 military prison, Nabil said he shared a stuffy cell with 100 detainees and witnessed the torture of many prisoners.
«I was lucky due to my medical condition, but I heard loud screams and saw a lot of activists being brutally beaten,» Nabil said.
Nabil said he was drugged several times during his incarceration and transferred to a mental hospital after he went on a hunger strike for more than 40 days.