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Jailed blogger's brother harassed for supporting him

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns attempts to intimidate detained blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad's brother, Mark Sanad, who says he has been threatened with imprisonment because of his public support for Maikel.

The press freedom organization reiterates its call for the detained netizen's immediate release and urges the authorities to renounce the use of intimidatory methods worthy of the Mubarak era.

After visiting his brother in prison on 20 September, Mark Sanad said: "I was threatened with being detained if I did not keep quiet and stop defending my brother. I will not stop. Let them detain me. I have no problem with that." The authorities also allegedly hid drugs in his bag with the apparent aim of charging him with drug trafficking.

Mark Sanad said that his brother's health is worsening, that he has already lost more than 12 kilos after going on hunger strike, and that he is refusing to go to the prison infirmary. Mark added that he feared his brother would not hold out until his appeal, which is due to be heard on 4 October.

A peaceful march was staged on 19 September to demand Maikel Nabil Sanad's release and an end to trials of civilians before military courts. The march started at Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The blogger's father, Nabil Sanad, has received no reply to the seven letters he has so far sent to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to request his son's release. He says he will take the Egyptian authorities before the International Court of Justice if his son dies in detention. Reporters Without Borders would encourage such an initiative.

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