An Egyptian court has sentenced a 21-year-old student to three years in jail for insulting Islam after police discovered he declared his atheism on Facebook. The young man had been harassed for his atheist views and had his own father testify against him.
Karim Ashraf Mohammed Al-Banna was tried in Idku city in northern Egypt. The student was arrested last November when he came to police to file a harassment complaint. It was revealed that Al-Banna was harassed in public for announcing he was an atheist online.
The student was kept in custody till the trial, which determined he made Facebook posts “insulting” to Islam.
“He was handed down a three-year prison sentence, and if he pays a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($140) the sentence can be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court,” the student’s lawyer, Ahmed Abdel Nabi, said, adding that they plan to file an appeal in the beginning of March.
According to the lawyer, Al-Banna’s own father testified against him saying he “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam,” the Daily Mail reports.
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