CAIRO: The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the Ministry of Interior for not discharging detained Coptic blogger Hani Nazeer, in accordance with a fourth court ruling ordering his release.
A Supreme Emergency State Security Criminal Court issued its fourth verdict ordering Nazeer’s release Wednesday in response to a petition submitted by ANHRI. Nazeer has been in custody since October 2008.
However, authorities renewed his detention period under the emergency law.
“The interior ministry won’t implement the release order as usual, Gamal Eid, head of ANHRI, told Daily News Egypt, “we expect it to issue another detention order for Nazeer.
Nazeer is held at the Borg El-Arab prison in Alexandria for allegedly authoring a book that was published online in response to controversial novel “Azazeel ? which centers on the philosophical battles between an Egyptian Coptic monk with the devil in the fifth century.
ANHRI maintains that Nazeer is not the author of the book.
According to ANHRI, the incident began when Muslims from Naga Hammadi browsing Nazeer’s blog found a link to the electronic book called “Azazeel s Goat in Mecca written by an individual using the alias Father Utah.
They were subsequently angered by attacks on Islam included in the book and concluded that Nazeer was the book s author.
Nazeer, a social worker in Naga Hammadi, was arrested when he voluntarily turned himself in to the police on Oct. 3, 2008, allegedly after his siblings were arrested to force him to come forward, according to ANHRI.
Writing appearing under the name Father Utah has continued to appear online since Nazeer’s detention which, ANHRI says, proves that he is not the author of “Azazeel s Goat in Mecca.
The rights group cited a letter from Nazeer that was leaked from Borg El-Arab prison accusing the Coptic church of making a deal with security forces and abandoning Nazeer.
In his letter, Nazeer claims that church bishops asked his family to keep quiet about his arrest.
ANHRI accused security forces of torturing Nazeer, citing another letter that was leaked last August in which he said he is being subjected to torture and pressure by security forces to convert to Islam in exchange for his release.
Daily News Egypt was unable to obtain a copy of the alleged leaked letter by press time.