Egypt’s Prosecutor-General Hamada Al-Sawy has ordered an appeal against the acquittal of three men accused of stripping an elderly Coptic woman off her clothes in a sectarian incident in 2016.
According to an official statement on Sunday, the prosecutor-general’s office said the decision to appeal comes after the technical bureau reviewed the recent criminal court’s reasoning behind the acquittal.
This comes nearly a month after a Minya criminal court acquitted in December three defendants who were accused of stripping and dragging an elderly Coptic woman through her village of Al-Karm in Upper Egypt’s Minya in an incident that shocked the country in 2016.
74-year-old Soad Thabet’s home was attacked, along with the homes of other Christians in the village, by an angry mob following a rumor that her son was having an affair with a Muslim woman in the village.
In January 2020, the court sentenced the three defendants in the case in absentia to ten years for assaulting and stripping the old woman of her clothes.
The three defendants — a father and his two sons — were then acquitted in a re-trial in December after they turned themselves to the authorities.