Shia activist sentenced to five years in jail for 'contempt of religion'
Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Feb 2014
Amr Abdullah was arrested after a during a fight with Salafists at Al-Hussein Mosque in Cairo in November 2013


Cairo Misdemeanors Court has sentenced a Shia activist to five years in jail with hard labour for attempting to storm Al-Hussein Mosque and insult the Prophet Mohamed's companions.

Shia activist Amr Abdullah was arrested in November 2013 during a fight with Salafists at Al-Hussein Mosque during the commemoration of Emam Al-Hussein's martydom on the Day of Ashura.

Earlier Wednesday, 30-year-old Abdullah was convicted of contempt of religion, insulting the Prophet Mohamed's companions and attempting to storm Al-Hussein Mosque.

"Stalking Shia Egyptians with the [contempt of religion] charge has been increasing fearfully, and in a way that abuses the rights and freedoms of Shias under international conventions as well the constitution," said Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher on minorities at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights on his Twitter account in reaction to the case.

In January, Egyptian security at Cairo Airport blocked 61 Canadian Shia Muslim pilgrims from entering the country and deported them.

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