Fatima Naoot, an Egyptian secular writer, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of insulting Islam. The charges related to an October 2015 Facebook post which decried the tradition of slaughtering sheep on Eid al-Adha as the “greatest massacre committed by human beings.” She was also ordered to pay a fine of $255.
Her sentence comes into effect immediately, but it is reported that she will be able to appeal from prison. While she did admit to writing the Facebook post, she argued that it was in no way meant to be an insult to Islam.
“I'm not sad about the sentencing as I don't care about going to jail. I'm sad that the efforts of reformists have been wasted,” she told AFP.
Sherif Adeeb, her defence attorney, expressed his surprise at the court’s decision.
“Despite having hoped for an acquittal, I cannot comment on court decisions but the situation in general is odd because we have submitted proof that there were no criminal intentions on the part of my client, a claim that the prosecution authorities also supported,” he said.
During the Eid al-Adha celebrations, domestic animals are sacrificed as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
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