EGYPT. Blogger Michael Nabil who was jailed last year for insulting Egypt's armed forces has been granted a pardon, the military judiciary chief said on Saturday.
Adel al-Mursi said the decision to pardon Nabil was taken "on the occasion of the first anniversary of January 25," when the uprising began against former president Hosni Mubarak.
A military justice official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 1,959 other prisoners would also be freed to mark the anniversary.
In a blog he wrote last March, after Mubarak stepped down on February 11, Nabil said the army had been protecting its own interests and not those of the Egyptian people.
An initial three-year sentence was reduced on appeal last month to two years. Nabil's arrest in March and sentencing sparked outrage abroad.
"If Michael Nabil perishes, so does the dream of a free Egypt," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, after the blogger went on hunger strike.