Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance, issued the following statement today (23 May) on the occasion of his meeting with Egyptian former political prisoner Maikel Nabil Sanad:
I am delighted to see Maikel no longer behind bars.
Late last year I attempted to visit Maikel in prison in Cairo, but the authorities refused my request at that point.
I followed Maikel’s story closely for months. I was deeply concerned that he could suffer physical and mental harm in prison and as a result of his hunger strike.
The German Government and many others pushed for his release. I am all the happier, then, to see him today, healthy and once again politically active.
Maikel is a young person who was unjustly imprisoned due to his convictions, went on a hunger strike, and was pardoned after nearly ten months in prison.
His personal courage and tenacious dedication to his work have made him a role model to many, and have earned our support and encouragement.
In fighting for freedom of opinion, human and civil rights and democratic change in Egypt on the basis on tolerance and non violence, he shows a particularly strong commitment to our common values.
I am pleased that he can now study at the University of Erfurt, and I wish him all the best there.