Whoever thought that when Muburak stepped down from power the Egyptian revolution was a closed chapter, is mistaken. The latest unrests, killings and arrests clarified by far: many problems remain unsolved and the gap between the Egyptian citizens and the Egypt military is still present. Especially young Egypt Bloggers continue to criticize the current conditions and are therefore constantly conflicting with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)
These Egyptian bloggers are not alone. All across the MENA region bloggers continue to protest for their rights. A lot of their repression remain unnoticed; only when an influential blogger like Alaa Abdel Fattah gets arrested or Ahmed Mansoor threatens with a hunger strike the mainstream media seem to be reporting them. But shortly after these initial reports are published such as the case of jailed Bloggers, they tend to be forgotten. Further look at the examples of Nasser bin Ghaith, Mohamed Tahan Jamal, Ahmed Abdul Khaleq and Hassan Ali al-Khamis who were arrested in April in the UAE or the 20-year-old Blogger Tal al-Mallohi who was arrested in Syria (see a full list of detained bloggers in Syria). A survey from the Harvard University actually claims that 7% of Arab bloggers have been arrested or detained over the past year while 30% have been threatened. Whether this number is accurate or not, Bloggers in the Middle East undergo a constant fear of suppression.
All these cases may have different reasons but with this week’s Buzz-Report SocialEyez wants to take a closer look at one specific Blogger Maikel Nabil and showcase the attention his story received in the world of social media.
Egypt Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad (26) was arrested for publishing a blog post in which he criticized the role of the military in Egypt. Under a military court he was sentenced to three years of prison and an LE200 fine. On August 23rd, 2011 he reacted with a hunger strike which brought him international attention. Maikel’s brother Mark describes the situation as “Maikel is staying strong and will not be broken … He won’t stop his hunger strike until he gets justice”. Across Egypt many people shared sympathy and used all types of social media platforms to support Maikel. Several articles and blogs demanded his release and reported about his current health condition. Below is an example of the popular blog ‘FreeMaikel’.
Popular Hashtags were #MaikelNabil and #freeMaikel and the Facebook Page FreeMaikelNabil has over 60,000 Likes. These tools were used to organize the support. Nevertheless the final outcome is still uncertain. His trail was postponed again to the 27th of November.
The Buzz generated in relation to Maikel Nabil is depicted below. The quantitative analysis is based on conversations in Egypt only.
Since the start of the hunger strike on August 23rd the graph shows a constant shift in social media attention. Initially the first two weeks the volume was generally high which is also related to the extensive news coverage internationally. The next peak on October 4th is due to the postponement of the trial with close to 2000 comments on only one day, most of them on Twitter. A further Buzz-highlight was measured one month later when Maikel refused to show up at the court. It will be interesting to see which volume will be generated on the 27th of November when his next trial is scheduled to.
Share of Coverage
“Release Michael immediately, how come you imprison people who speak up their minds??? From now on the court should have nothing to do with what people think, and whoever is harmed by anyone’s opinion should only respond in the same manner”
“Ala’a Saif impronment was extended for 15 more days and postponement of sentence in the case of Michael Nabil till November the 27th. GOD damn military government”
“Demand the release of Maikel Nabil Sanad”
“@bothainakamel1 solidarity with you and #MaikelNabil good luck with the hunger strike”
- “Freedom for the detainees; Michael Nabil, Ala’a Abdel Fattah and Amer Al Behairi”
“Betrayers will never leave jail, and the rest of the 6-April betrayers will follow. I wish instead of apologizing you would teach your son how to respect the upper authority, and that the people he is with now are agents and saboteurs.”
“We should pay more attention to more important stuff than those atheists and please do not ever sympathy with them.”
“European Parliament passes resolution against military trials”
“Please sister, do not call them atheists as long as you do not know that for sure. Either you say something good about them or shut up which is way much better.”
This Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that recently buzzed on various social media platforms. The search was conducted on all social media platforms in Egypt in Arabic and English language from end of March until the mid of November. The focus of the research was on social media conversations and social media trends reflecting the sentiment towards the case of Maikel Nabil.
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