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Egyptian writer Naoot appeals jail sentence for 'contempt of religion'

Fatima Naoot was sentenced on Tuesday to three-years in jail and a LE20,000 fine for criticising slaughter of sheep in Adha Eid

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Jan 2016
Fatima Naoot
Egyptian writer Fatima Naoot (Photo: Fatima Naoot's Facebook account"
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Egyptian writer Fatma Naoot appealed on Wednesday a three-year jail sentence and a LE20,000 ($2550) fine she was handed on Tuesday after being found guilty of contempt of religion.

Naoot, who is self-professed secular, was convicted for the content of a Facebook post she wrote in October 2015 criticising the Eid Al-Adha tradition of slaughtering sheep on ethical grounds.

The jail sentence is effective immediately, which means the former candidate for parliament is set to be arrested and incarcerated.

In a Facebook post, Fatima Naoot said that she was ready to serve her jail sentence with her "head high."

On Tuesday, the well-known writer and poet also announced on TV that the first phone call she received after the court sentence was from Helmy El-Nemnem – Egypt’s Minister of Culture -- who expressed his support to her both as a minister and a writer. 

"El-Nemnem has a long history of defending intellectuals in cases related to blasphemy. He is also a friend of mine and we attend a lot of lectures together," she said on ONTV Live. 

Fatima Naoot is the second public figure to be convicted of blasphemy in less than two months. In December, TV host and researcher Islam Behery was sentenced to one year in prison for contempt of religion.

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