Egyptian journalist Bishoy Armia (Photo: courtesy of united copts website)
A court in Upper Egypt has sentenced journalist Bishoy Armia to five years in prison and a fine of LE500 for inciting sectarian strife, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported on Monday.
Al-Ahram said the defendant – originally named Mohamed Hegazy El-Sayed – was also sentenced for "depicting Christians as suffering from sectarian oppression" and reporting the "misinformation" to a US-based television channel called The Road.
Armia was arrested in Upper Egypt's Minya in December after clashes between Muslims and Christians in the city following a controversial relationship between a Muslim girl and a Christian.
The 32-year-old journalist made headlines in 2008 when he lobbied to have his religion changed on his national identification card from Islam to Christianity, after converting and subsequently changing his name from Mohamed Hegazy to Bishoy Armia.