I was deeply disturbed when I heard of Maikel's sentence of 3 years in prison, his crime being: criticizing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and the acts of violent brutality committed by the military police and the officers of the military prison against activists arrested in Tahrir Square.
The cause of my alarm was an empty feeling that there is nothing new under the sun. The same old practices from before the Revolution are taking place once again; only the faces have changed. A tyrant president was overthrown and jailed, to be followed by a transitional military council which seems to match its predecessor’s dictatorship and tyranny.
Over four years ago, I was put in prison for an opinion that I published on the internet. I hoped that I would be the last to be jailed over personal convictions. Coming out of prison, still under the toll of the now-ex-regime, some friends claimed that my incarceration contributed to the heat put on the ex-regime; a regime that, suffering from torrents of criticism after my infamous jail sentence, could not dare to put away another blogger for voicing an opinion.
Today, after Maikel’s prison sentence handed down by the military authorities, I am utterly depressed. It is no longer logical to assume that these practices have stopped. I have a nasty feeling of the futility of my years in prison; years that have failed to change even one iota of our painful reality. It saddens me even more that the bloodshed by my generation, and the lives they risked to free this country from the oppression, injustice, corruption, and suppression of our freedoms, has merely replaced the notorious old faces we got acquainted with, with brand new faces that we will have to adapt to for another indefinite period of time!
There is no need to emphasize that prison is not the right place for Maikel, amidst the thugs, ex-convicts, and embezzlers. This is just indisputable common sense! I don’t need to emphasize either that the imprisonment of a man for voicing an opinion-one that we could agree or disagree with- is nothing short of a crime that we can’t simply overlook.
We did not take part in this Revolution for the meager goal of ousting Mubarak and putting him in prison! If the military council thinks we are this stupid; that our demands of reform don’t exceed the overthrow and punishment of some icons of an ex-regime, then we have work to do! We have to show them that we are not gullible or stupid, that some empty rituals of revenge will not appease us. We will do whatever it takes, even if we have to turn back the clock to the 10th of February, and return to Tahrir Square once again.
The ongoing imprisonment of Maikel nabil, the 9th of March detainees among others, and the unending military trials of civilians, all amount to my belief that while the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is trying to take credit for the demise of the old regime, it is simply an extension of it! And as long as Maikel Nabil and other peaceful activists remain behind bars, the Military Council has no right to speak for the Revolution or to try and deceive us into believing that they are the protectors or even supporters of the Revolution.
The military council should realize by now that the Egyptians are no longer the naïve followers of whoever has the upper hand. They have to understand that the people who ignited this revolution will not stand still, and turn a blind eye to the injustices committed by anyone.
Lesson learned: the Egyptian people have finally matured politically; Egyptians will no longer let anyone steal or destory their dreams of a better world free from oppression, corruption, injustice or suppression of human rights.
Translated by : Sarah Boctor