CAIRO: After news emerged Saturday that 1959 military detainees will be released including blogger Maikel Nabil, his brother told Daily News Egypt that lawyers do not expect him to be freed before Jan. 25.
Mark Nabil said the military court informed his family on Saturday that his brother would be released Sunday morning. However, until Sunday evening he remained in detention.
He added that officials at Tora Prison, where Maikel Nabil is being held, said his release is pending the ratification of the decision.
Salma Said, member of the No To Military Trials campaign, said the prisoners will be released once the paper work is complete, which is a standard procedure.
Egypt’s de facto leader, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi ordered Saturday the release of 1959 prisoners convicted by military courts.
According to Amnesty International Cairo researcher Mohamed Lotfy, details about who remains inside prison and who was released are unclear.
"We don’t know yet who has been released or if indeed anybody was released from prison. In fact, blogger and prisoner of conscience Maikel Nabil remains in prison and his release procedures remain incomplete. Tora Prison refused to release him [Sunday] despite assurance from the military judiciary that he should be out," Lotfy said.
Maikel Nabil has been detained for 10 months. He was arrested in March on charges of insulting the military after writing a blog post entitled “The army and the people were never one hand,” only a month after the military council came into power following the ouster of former president Mubarak.
Nabil began a hunger strike in August 2011 to protest his imprisonment after a military trial, and escalated it by refusing all forms of nourishment. He ended his hunger strike on December 31.
A group of supporters that headed to Tora Prison to wait for his release Sunday morning were threatened and sent away by what they claimed were plain-clothed police officers.
“They attacked a journalist called Maikel Adel and took him inside Tora Prison and threatened to kill him. The same men then got into a Central Security Forces truck,” Mark said.
Local and international human rights groups have repeatedly called on the military council to stop trying civilians in military courts. According to rights groups, around 12,000 Egyptians have been subject to military trials since the January uprising in 2011.