Egyptian blogger appeals 4 years prison sentence

Lawyers for an Egyptian blogger convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam and Egypt's president filed an appeal Monday. Abdel Kareem Nabil, a former student at Egypt's Al-Azhar University, had been a vocal secularist and sharp critic of conservative Muslims in his blog. He often lashed out at Al-Azhar - the most prominent religious center in Sunni Islam - calling it "the university of terrorism" and accusing it of encouraging extremism. One of Nabil's lawyers Rawda Ahmed said an appeal was filed Monday and a court hearing was set for March 12. A criminal court in Alexandria, Nabil's hometown, has issued its four year's verdict on Thursday. The conviction has brought a flood of condemnations from international and Egyptian human rights groups, as well as from fellow bloggers. Washington also has said it was concerned about the verdict and sentence.