Jailed Egyptian opposition head hospitalized

The detained runner-up in Egypt's presidential elections has been moved to a prison hospital after starting a hunger strike six days ago, his political party said Saturday, and an Egyptian human rights group demanded his immediate release. Ayman Nour was detained Dec. 5 as his trial on forgery charges neared its conclusion. He has pleaded not guilty to ordering the forging of signatures to register his Al-Ghad party last year and faces a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Nour's party issued a statement saying he was a hospital inside the Tora prison "after his health condition deteriorated." Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment on the claims. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights issued a statement demanding Nour's immediate release and an investigation into his hunger strike. Nour told the court during his trial this week that he began the hunger strike to protest his detention. His trial resumes Dec. 24.