The Minya misdemeanours juvenile court has sentenced three Coptic teenagers to five years in prison each, and a fourth to be placed in a juvenile institution for the same period of time, for contempt of Islam.
Moler Atef, Albeir Ashraf, Bassem Amgad and Clinton Magdy from the village of Nassriya in Minya, Upper Egypt, had less than a year ago acted a half-minute sketch that was sarcastic of the Daesh beheading of 20 Copts and one Ghanaian Christian in February 2015. The sketch showed the Islamists praying before beheading the victims; this was considered derision of Islam. They were arrested together with the 35-year-old teacher Gad Youssef who captured the sketch on video on his mobile phone. The video was discovered by the Muslim villagers when they found the memory card Mr Youssef had lost.
Following two months in detention, the teenagers and the teacher were released on bail, but Mr Youssef was handed a three-year prison sentence on 30 January 2016. He is on the run, and his case id being appealed.
Even though the children’s lawyer Maher Naguib announced he will appeal the court sentence, the children fled the village and are at some unknown place or places. The families are in a state of shock, and fear that their children would never be able to complete their schooling. Three of them are secondary school students; the fourth is in university studying agriculture.
26 February 2016