Hani Nazeer, a 28-year-old Coptic blogger has been held in an Egyptian prison for over a year without any charges brought against him. Nazeer who kept a blog called Karz El Hob, was arrested on October 3, 2008 by State Security Investigations. Two days prior to his arrest, young Muslims from Nazeer’s village visited his blog. The blog included a link to a website that featured, among other things, the digital version of a novel called “Azazil’s Goat in Mecca”, which is viewed as offensive to Islam. The young men became infuriated and suspected that Nazeer was the author of the novel. On that day, the State Security agents came to Nazeer’s house, and because he wasn’t there, they arrested two of his brothers, and held them hostage until Hani would turn himself in. On October 3, the agents went back to his house and arrested his sister as well. Later that day Hani turned himself in. Since then, he’s been kept in Burj Al-Arab prison in harsh conditions with common criminals; according to his lawyers, he has been pressured by prison officials to convert to Islam. He has not been charged with any crime and kept in detention under Egypt’s 1981 Emergency Law.
On November 9, Nazeer learned that his latest appeal for release has been denied. His lawyers appealed for his release once again, and Nazeer has threatened to begin a hunger strike if this appeal is denied by Egyptian authorities.