Egypt A court Thursday refused to release on bail a writer accused of insulting Islam and causing sectarian strife in postings on his Web journal in Egypt's first prosecution of a blogger.
Abdel Kareem Nabil, 22, who has been in detention since his arrest in November, denounced Islamic authorities and criticized President Hosni Mubarak on his Arabic-language blog. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights called on human rights groups to "pressure the government to drop charges against (Nabil) as a prisoner of conscience."
Nabil, whose trial began Jan. 18, has been charged with inciting sedition, insulting Islam, harming national unity and insulting the president.
In Thursday's session, his attorneys requested he be released on bail during the trial, but the court rejected the motion, Nabil's attorney Ahmed Seif el-Islam said.