Egypt blogger Maikel Nabil jailed by military court

Maikel Nabil Maikel Nabil has been arrested several times for his political activity

A military court in Egypt has sentenced an internet activist to three years in jail for criticising the armed forces.

Maikel Nabil was arrested last month for blogs that criticised the army's role during anti-government protests.

The 26-year-old is thought to be the first blogger jailed in Egypt since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

Activists said the trial set a dangerous precedent at a time when Egypt was trying to move away from the alleged abuses of the Mubarak era.

Lawyers representing Maikel Nabil have criticised the conduct of the military court.

"We are in a state of shock because [on Sunday] they told us the decision would be on Tuesday, so the family and lawyer left. Afterwards the court announced its decision," said Gamal Eid, a lawyer who heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.

Mr Eid said the trial was unfair because the court did not even consider the content of Mr Nabil's blog posts.

He said he would petition the head of the court to reverse its decision and free Mr Nabil.

Last week, Human Rights Watch called for the charges against Mr Nabil to be dropped.

This was the first trial of a blogger by a military court since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed control after Mr Mubarak resigned on 11 February, following 18 days of street protests.

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