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Egyptian Copt Gets Prison Sentence for Facebook 'Blasphemy'

Thu, December 13, 2012

For those wondering how bad the political climate in Egypt will be if Islamist constitution of Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi passes December 15, they should consider what the reality of Egypt is today, pre-Sharia -- and the fact that America supports this country.

This week, Egyptian Copt Alber Saber, a political activist, was sentenced to three years in prison for “insulting Islam.”

Saber’s “crimes” was posting parts of the film “Innocence of Muslims” on his Facebook page. The film sparked Islamic riots world-wide for its perceived insult to Islam and its prophet Mohammed.

Saber was also found guilty of “contempt of religion” after prosecutors accused him of running a Facebook page that “promoted extremist ideas” as well as atheism.

Defense lawyer Hamdy al-Assiouty said he had expected the verdict, commenting that the evidence presented against Saber was entirely invalid.  “It was clear from the way that the court treated the case — the difficulty the defense had in obtaining case documents and the obstacles placed in our way while we were trying to raise a defense — that it would issue such a verdict,” he is quoted as saying.

Amnesty International said in a statement in October,“Alber Saber Ayad is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Saber was convicted according to the Penal Code of Egypt, which states in Article 98(f), “Confinement for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years … shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever makes use of religion in propagating, either by words, in writing, or in any other means, extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity.”