Two Coptic children arrested in Egypt for 'insulting Islam'

Emad Abu-Zeid , Wednesday 3 Oct 2012

Beni Suef Imam files law suit against two Christian boys for allegedly tearing up Quranic verses; father of children pleas kids are illiterate and were playing with papers near a garbage dump

Muslims and Christians raise "No to Sectarian incitement" placards at US embassy in Cairo on 1st day of protests against anti-Islam film in September, 2012 (Photo: AP)


The two Coptic children  have been released Thursday afternoon pending investigation, according to Ahram Online's reporter in Beni Suef. For more details see:


Two Coptic Christian children Nabil Nagy Rizk, 10, and Mina Nady Farag, 9, were arrested, Tuesday, for insulting religion in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Beni Suef, after the imam of their local mosque filed a complaint against them.

By order of the prosecution the two boys are now being held in the Beni Suef juvenile detention pending further investigation on Sunday.

Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, the village imam, accused the children of tearing up pages of the Quran.

According to Ahram Online reporter in the area, Ali initially took the children to the church and requested that the priest punish them.

Unsatisfied with the church's decision not to castigate the two boys, Ali, together with three other villagers, turned to the courts. 

Nabil's father Nagy Rizk defended the action of the boys in a public statement, explaining that they are illiterate and therefore did not know the content of the papers which they found in a small white bag, as they were playing near a pile of rubbish in the street.

The events in Beni Suef come after a wave of arrests across Egypt of several individuals after they were accused by others of "committing blasphemy."

Most of those arrested were Copts accused of "insulting Islam."

Earlier this month in Sohag, a Copt school teacher, Bishoy Kamel, was sentenced to six years in prison for posting cartoons deemed defamatory to Islam and Prophet Mohammed on social-networking site Facebook, as well as for insulting President Mohamed Morsi and his family.  

This followed the arrest of a Coptic man, 25-year-old Albert Saber, on 13 September, who was charged with insulting religion for allegedly posting the controversial anti-Islam short film, Innocence of Muslims, also on his Facebook page.

Saber, who was referred to Marg Misdemeanor Court, is still in detention awaiting trial.

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