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An Egyptian court sentenced three Coptic Christian teenagers to five years in prison on Thursday for mocking Islam in a video. A fourth Christian teen was condemned to a juvenile detention center for an indefinite period of time.
The video was shot on a mobile phone in January 2015 and depicts the four teens allegedly mocking Muslim prayers.
Defense lawyer Maher Naquib insisted the youths had not created the video to insult Islam but to instead mock the beheadings carried out by ISIS jihadists.
However, all four Christians, as well as their teacher who was also featured in the video, have been sentenced to prison.
“The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment,” Naguib told Agency French Press.
The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms said in a statement that after the video’s release the teens were imprisoned for 45 days and endured “ill-treatment.” Read More
A court in Minya upheld the appeal filed by the defense of the four teenagers who were in detention for more than 40 days on charges of insulting Islam. The incident happened in a school in the village of Nasiriyya, near the town of Beni Mazar, in the Egyptian province of Minya.
The four were arrested for having appeared in a video for a few seconds, in which they mimed the scene of the slaughter of a faithful Muslim in prayer, in imitation of the horrific executions committed by jihadists of the Islamic State (IS).
The brief video, which represented in its own way an indictment against the atrocities committed by jihadists of the Islamic State, had incredibly sparked anger and false accusations of Islamist elements in the area, which forced local authorities to take action to restore calm, convening on 17 April, a meeting of “reconciliation” between Christians and Muslims, with the participation of imams and priests in the area.
The families of the boys had to pay a deposit of 10 thousand Egyptian pounds for the release of each of them. Even a professor of the school was accused of having the responsibility in recording the video and spreading it, which is why he was forced to leave the village of Nasiriyya with his family. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 28/05/2015)