Since our Minister of Foreign Affairs has expressed his concern abut the denial of human rights in Libya and supports the present 'humanitarian intervention' he must soon be going to publicly protest about the military crackdown in Egypt. Clearly he's waiting for Barack Obama to say something first though.

I'm sure freedom-loving Murray McCully will eventually have something to say about the case of Maikel Nabil Sanad, 26. He has just been convicted by an Egyptian military tribunal of 'insulting the military' and jailed for three years. Sanad has been blogging about human rights abuses by the military. He has also had a page on Facebook.

This is the first trial of a blogger by Egypt's US-backed military rulers and the harshest sentence delivered against a blogger since 2004, when one was convicted of 'insulting' Mubarak and 'offending' Islam and sentenced to four years in prison.

Human Rights lawyers say the sentence has wide implications for freedom of expression in post-Mubarak Egypt and does not augur well for the political freedoms of opposition forces in Egypt.

The case against Sanad, who was arrested two weeks ago at his home, was based on a blog post titled 'The people and the army were never hand in hand,' questioning the military's continued allegiance to Mubarak.

Adel Ramadan, Sanad's lawyer. says that 10,000 civilians have been convicted and sentenced by military tribunals since the army took over two months ago.

Time to carry on with the revolution and sweep away the military junta...


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