maikel nabil sanad
Many International actors, including the U.S. government, support the Egyptian military, in the belief that Egypt's army can restore stability, and, in doing so, stem the flow of refugees out of Egypt. But it's the Egyptian military, through its stubbornness dealing with the conscientious objection issue, which generates refugees every day.
I was sitting on a bench inside the military court that day, accompanied by a military intelligence agent, waiting for my military judge to arrive in the courtroom. It was a spring day, in April 2011, just few months after the revolution started. It was the fifth time I was detained in Egypt because of my activism. It isn't that I can understand the situations of people facing injustice from afar, I can feel their pain, because it's my pain as well.
First, Canada was smacked down by Russia in the world junior semi-finals; for the first time since 2001, Canada would not play for the gold. Then we had a big smackdown in the blog rail between Vancouver doctor Reka Gustafson and contributor Miranda Frum over whether taxpayers should be paying for crack pipes. Just as the -- what? dust? powder? -- from that was settling, another smackdown started up when Kathryn Marshall of Ethical Oil accused environmental groups of receiving foreign backing to lobby against the Northern Gateway project, upon which hearings will begin this coming week. To which Rick Smith of Environmental Defence Canada replied, essentially, so what? So as you return to work, remember that things could be worse. Even in January. Even in January in Canada. You could be in Mexico...
The Egyptian regime hopes the world forgets about Sanad and his fellow political prisoners. Sanad's freedom is a litmus test for Egypt's future. So far it is failing miserably.
Maikel Nabil Sanad became the first political prisoner in the post-Mubarak era for exercising his rights. Today he is on the 112th day of a hunger strike and his life is on the line. Nabil possesses that intangible moral courage and commitment to a cause that is unyielding.