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Egypt: Christian blogger denied release, again

12/17/2009 Egypt (Bikya Masr) – An Egyptian-Christian blogger has been denied release by Egypt’s ministry of interior, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) reported on Wednesday. The move comes after Egyptian courts have called for his release on a previous three occasions, but the ministry continues to issue arrest warrants that keep Hani Nazeer Aziz in jail.

ANHRI says Aziz was arrested under the pretext of the emergency law, “without any charge or crime since October 2008″ and “has been issued a fourth release decision by State Security Court, after lawyers of ANHRI’s freedom of expression legal aid unit submitted a memorandum to the court detailing how security forces kidnapped Hani’s brothers as hostage until he would turn himself in.”

According to ANHRI, the Christian blogger has been subjected to a series of violations since he was detained over one year ago. ANHRI, in a press statement listed the abuses against Aziz: “abduction of his brothers; threatening to arrest his sisters; Church cleric cooperating with security against him; detaining him as a criminal rather than a political prisoner; pressuring him to convert to Islam to be released; forcing him to tell the password of his blog, which was then erased by state security; preventing ANHRI lawyers from visiting him; and security declining on the implementation of four judicial decisions to release him.”

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