PEN International protests the three-year sentence handed down to Internet writer Michael Nabil Sanad on April 9, 2011. Sanad was convicted for criticizing former President Hosni Mubarak. PEN considers Sanad’s detention to be in violation of Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, Michael Nabil Sanad, better known by the pseudonym "Son of Ra," was sentenced to three years in prison on April 9, 2011, by a military tribunal on charges of "insulting the military institution, dissemination of false news, and disturbing public security." He was convicted for comments on his blog in which he accuses the new government of continuing the corruption and anti-democratic practices of the former president, Hosni Mubarak.

He was arrested on March 28, 2011, then transferred to a military court, which held its first hearing on March 30, when the charge of disturbing public security was dropped. Another hearing was held on April 4 and the case was subsequently adjourned to April 6. Sanad was previously arrested on February 8, before Mubarak stepped down. The blogger was detained while participating in the anti-government protests for holding a banner which read "Civil, not military or religious."  He is currently being held at Tora prison.

Write A Letter

  • Protesting the three-year sentence given to Michael Nabil Sanad solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling for the charges to be dismissed at once and for his immediate and unconditional release;
  • Seeking assurances that Michael Nabil Sanad is being treated humanely in detention;
  • Reminding the Egyptian authorities of their obligations to protect freedom of expression as laid out by Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory.

Send Your Letter To

Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah
Director of Military Judiciary
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2 402 4468 / +202 2 411 3452

Major-General Medhat Radwan
Military General Attorney
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2 412 0980

His Excellency Muhammad Tantawi
Minister of Defense
Ministry of Defense
Cairo, Egypt
Email: /

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Egypt in your country if possible.

Please contact PEN if sending appeals after May 20, 2011: ftw [at]