Two Coptic boys released, await trial on blasphemy charges
07 Oct 2012 06:57 GMT
 
Beni Suef: An Egyptian Attorney General of Beni Suef has passed the release orders of two Coptic young boys who were arrested in the charges of insulting Islam in the upper Egyptian village of Ezbet Marco. By Farhan Iqbal

Beni Suef: An Egyptian Attorney General of Beni Suef has passed the release orders of two Coptic young boys who were arrested in the charges of insulting Islam in the upper Egyptian village of Ezbet Marco.

According to the reports, the two Coptic children, Nabil Nagy Rizk, 10, and Mina Nady Farag, 9, were arrested for insulting Islam but they have been released on the orders of attorney general, however, the investigation into the probe is still pending.

The attorney general of Beni Suef informed the media that he has ordered the release of them “due to their young age.”

Nonetheless, the children have yet to be acquitted. A condition of their release, the attorney general explained, is that the “families signed documents confirming they will bring both kids to the prosecution whenever they are needed for questioning.” Investigations are expected to take place on Sunday.

The boys had been detained in the Beni Suef juvenile detention by order of the prosecution since Tuesday, after Imam of their local mosque, Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, accused the children of tearing up pages of the Holy Quran and filed a legal complaint against them.

It was also learned that Ali initially took the children to the church and requested that the priest punish them. When he did not get satisfied response from the church as the church decided not to punish the two boys, Ali with three other villagers, turned to the courts.

Nabil’s father Nagy Rizk defended the action of the boys in a public statement, explaining that they are illiterate and therefore did not know the content of the papers which they found in a small white bag, as they were playing near a pile of rubbish in the street.

The events in Beni Suef come after a wave of arrests across Egypt of individuals accused of “committing blasphemy.” Most of those arrested are Copts accused of insulting Islam.

Earlier this month in Sohag, a Coptic school teacher, Bishoy Kamel, was sentenced to six years in prison for posting cartoons deemed defamatory to Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on social-networking site Facebook, as well as for insulting President Mohamed Morsi and his family.

This followed the arrest of a Coptic man, 25-year-old Albert Saber, on 13 September, who was charged with insulting religion for allegedly posting the controversial anti-Islam short film on his Facebook page. Saber, who was referred to Marg Misdemeanor Court, is still in detention awaiting trial.


-- Al Arabiya Digital


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