Egypt's Alber Saber given 3-year jail term for offending religion

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Dec 2012

Activist accused of offending religion for posting anti-Islam film 'Innocence of Muslims' on Facebook handed three-year jail term, released on bail pending appeal

Albert Saber
Albert Saber inside the cage during his trial in Cairo 26 September (Photo: Reuters)

A court in Egypt has sentenced activist Alber Saber to three years in jail for posting the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims on his Facebook page.

"Bail [of LE1000] will be paid to release Alber while the court responds to his appeal," defence lawyer Ahmed Ezzat told Ahram Online.

Saber, 27, has been in detention since his arrest on 13 September. He has always denied posting the video.

Innocence of Muslims prompted widespread protests across the Islamic world in September after it was released on the internet.

Article 98 of Egypt's penal code says anyone convicted of offending religion in any form can face up to six years in prison and be fined up to LE500.

Charges of insulting religion were used to target political activists during the Mubarak era and the practice appears to have continued under President Mohamed Morsi.

Earlier in September, a Coptic school teacher, Bishoy Kamel, was sentenced to six years in prison for posting cartoons online deemed defamatory to Islam and Prophet Mohammed, and for insulting President Morsi and his family.

Another notable case was the referral of two Coptic children – ten-year-old Nabil Rizk and nine-year-old Mina Farag – to juvenile detention for allegedly tearing up a copy of the Quran. Due to their young ages, however, they were later released pending investigation.


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