Last Update 16:43
Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Corrected: Coptic lawyer gets 1-year jail term for insulting Islam

Attorneys file complaint against Coptic Christian colleague Romani Murad; Assiut court agrees defendant insulted Islam and slams him with 1 year in jail and highly punitive fine

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 1 Jun 2013

Coptic lawyer Romani Murad was found guilty of insulting and mocking God and the Quran by a misdemeanour court in Assiut, Upper Egypt on Saturday.

The court sentenced him to one year in prison and to pay an LE10,000 ($1,430) fine for comments allegedly made in the lawyers' syndicate library.

The lawsuit was filed by a number of lawyers who accused Murad of insulting Islam.

Article 98 of Egypt's penal code reads that anyone convicted of offending religion in any form can face up to six years in prison and be fined up to LE500 ($70).

In July 2012, Coptic Christian school teacher from Sohag Bishoy Kamel was sentenced to six years in prison for posting cartoons deemed defamatory to Islam and the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook as well as for insulting President Mohamed Morsi and his family.

This followed the arrest of a Coptic man, 25-year-old Albert Saber, on 13 September, who was charged with insulting religion for allegedly posting the controversial anti-Islam short film Innocence of Muslims on his Facebook page.

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

In February, the prosecutor-general ordered the arrest of controversial preacher Ahmed Abdullah Abu Islam accused of insulting the Christian religion.

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