Bloomberg News

Egypt Court Fines Coptic Christian Teacher for Insulting Islam

June 11, 2013

An Egyptian court has fined a Coptic Christian teacher 100,000 pounds ($14,300) for insulting Islam and proselytizing at a primary school in Upper Egypt.

The case of Demiana Ebeid Abdel-Nour will be referred to the designated court, Luxor Misdemeanors Court said in a faxed statement today. The case against her is based on a complaint lodged by the parents alleging that she insulted Islam during a class, court said. Abdel-Nour was released last month on 20,000 pounds bail pending further investigation.

Romani Mourad, a Coptic Christian lawyer, was sentenced on June 1 to one year in prison in absentia and fined 10,000 pounds, also for insulting Islam and the Koran. Two days later, several human-rights groups issued a statement condemning “the rise in numbers of cases” where Copts stood accused of insulting religion. These “strongly indicate that such cases have become a weapon for religious discrimination and oppression of religious minorities, the groups said.

Egypt’s constitution, approved in a December referendum, has sparked a wave of criticism from activists and human-rights groups, arguing the charter fails to protect human rights. Article 44 in the draft prohibits insulting any prophet.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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