News / Middle East

    Egyptian Court Convicts Four Teens for Mocking Muslim Prayers

    FILE - An Egyptian man in Cairo holds a poster with Arabic that reads "Muslims and Copts are in the same tragedy" during a protest against the slaying of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by militants associated with the Islamic State group.
    FILE - An Egyptian man in Cairo holds a poster with Arabic that reads "Muslims and Copts are in the same tragedy" during a protest against the slaying of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by militants associated with the Islamic State group.
    VOA News

    A court in Egypt has convicted four Coptic teenagers for contempt of Islam after they appeared in a short video mocking Muslim prayers.

    The mobile phone video, which went viral in April 2015, was filmed after the beheading of dozens of Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic State group in Libya last year.

    A court in southern Minya province on Thursday gave five-year jail terms to three of the teens and referred a fourth one to a juvenile facility for an indefinite period.

    In the 30-second video, the teens pretended to perform Muslim prayers, with one reciting Quranic verses and two others standing behind him while laughing. One waved his hand under a second's neck in a sign of beheading.

    The teenagers’ lawyer Maher Naquib said the ruling was “unbelievable”, adding that the boys were minors and the court should have just punished them with a fine.

    Naquib said the teenagers were tried in absentia and remain free pending an appeal.

    "My son was sentenced to five years for laughing. Is that possible? What kind of justice is this?"” Iman Girgis, a mother of one of the convicted boys, told the Associated Press.

    Christians make up approximately 10 percent of Egypt's population. They strongly supported the army chief-turned-president, Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, who led the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

    Egypt has long been accused by human rights organizations of systematic abuse of human rights, including unfair trials of political opposition and minority groups.  

    Last week, a military court sentenced a toddler, Ahmed Mansour Sharara, to life in prison and convicted him of killing three people, carrying guns and firebombs, blocking a road with burning tires and trying to damage government buildings, the New York Times reported.

    After an uproar over the conviction, the Egyptian military said that it was a case of mistaken identity.

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    Comments
         
    by: anynmous from: usa
    February 27, 2016 7:33 AM
    mocking Muslim prayers is not a crime that deserve five years in jail. we have that Muslim believe that they have the right to make fun about Christianity, write book mocking Christianity is ok for Muslim that as the book wrote by Raza islan who make fun about Jesus and say he is drunk man. no body arrested him and he is the honor guest in many news media . but say a simple funny words about Islam ,the consequences is severe such as in France And Denmark . even in US ,the FBI is investigating for criminal charge for a person placed a peace of beacon in the door of mosque. Christian has no right even in us to express its view about Islam because Obama and democrat are considering talking about Islam is politically incorrect . the bottom line Islam is insecure religion because its faith is weak and it does not make sense . I am sure that VOA will not publish it

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    February 26, 2016 8:16 PM
    Peace treaties between Egypt, Israel and Jordan and US financial, military, and political support for all three are the cornerstone of peace in the region.

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