- Name: Maikel Nabil Sanad
- Country: Egypt
- Status: Free
- Blog: http://www.maikelnabil.com
Maikel Nabil Sanad was born in Assiut, Egypt on October 1, 1985. After completing his education in 2009, he moved to Cairo. He became active in politics in late 2005, joining several political parties including the Egyptian Liberal Party and Democratic Front Party. He participated in events with some Egyptian NGOs, including the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, the Youth Contribution Association for Social Assistance, and the Egyptian Democratic Institute.
In 2006 Sanad began writing political commentary online and has since published over 1,000 blog posts and over 200 online articles. He has also recently been published in The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
In April 2009, Sanad founded a political movement opposing mandatory military service in Egypt called the "No for Compulsory Military Service Movement." Maikel became a conscientious objector, refusing to perform compulsory military service, and continued his campaign against compulsory service even after his exemption in November, 2010. He is also a vocal critic of Egypt's cold relations with Israel, and includes a Hebrew section on his blog.
Since he began his political activities, Sanad has been arrested several times. Most recently, he was arrested on March 28, 2012 for a blog post criticizing the role of the military following the January 25 protests that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.
Considered by many to be the first prisoner of conscious following the ousting of Mubarak, Sanad was arrested at night at his home in Ein Shams and was detained for 302 days. One of Nabil's most immediate demands sought the end of military trials for civilians, a stipulation that Egypt's emergency law protected for decades.
In protest of his own military trial that took place in March, Nabil began a hunger strike that lasted for four months and attracted the attention of U.S. policy makers in addition to the online community. There were global appeals for Sanad's case throughout the summer and fall of 2011 by U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Frank Wolf, AHR Board Member and renowned human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler.
Sanad was released from prison on January 25, 2012, and credits his release from prison to the massive support that he received from the international community, including the efforts of AHR Board Member Irwin Cotler and CyberDissidents.org. Sanad is a CyberDissidents.org Blogger Board Member and continues to advocate for freedom and democracy for all Egyptians.