Oh my God! Egyptian student jailed for atheist Facebook announcement

Published January 12th, 2015 - 05:00 GMT

A student has been given a three-year jail sentence in Egypt for announcing that he was an atheist on Facebook and for insulting Islam, AFP has reported.

Karim al-Banna was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Baheira on Saturday, his lawyer Ahmed Abdel Nabi told AFP.

“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,” Abdel Nabi said.

The 21-year-old student’s father testified against his son, claiming that he "was embracing extremist ideas against Islam."

A local daily had published Banna’s name in a list of known atheists. His neighbors reportedly harassed him and he went to a local police station to make a complaint, according to researcher on religion and beliefs at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Ishaq Ibrahim.

At the police station Banna was accused of insulting Islam. He was subsequently arrested, Ibrahim explained.

In 2012 an Egyptian blogger was also sentenced to a three-year jail term over charges of blasphemy.

The student has been in custody since November last year.

The appeal will be heard on March 9.


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