Egypt has jailed four students for a video made in jest, mocking ISIS on the charge of “insulting Islam.” According to reports, the four students, aged 15 to 16, in Egypt are facing up to five years in jail, while a fifth child is on the run. A school teacher is also facing seven years in jail.
The students were said to be Coptic Christians, members of the largest Christian denomination in Egypt. Earlier this year, Inquisitr reported that ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt. The video of the students mocking ISIS appeared shortly after the mass execution.
The students were allowed to make the video via the school teacher’s mobile phone in the private setting of an hotel room. The video, which lasted 32 seconds, shows the students making innocuous comments, with a student seen kneeling while another was seen making a chopping motion.
Mina Thabet, a Coptic activist and researcher at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, spoke to Fox News from Cairo.
“They are some kids who decided to have fun in a private place. They were on a trip with their teacher, but somehow rumor got out that they’d thrown down the Koran, and had insulted Islam, so that led to their arrests.”
The video was then leaked and, as a result, more than 2,000 Muslims marched through Al-Nasriyah and neighboring villages, attacking Coptic Christian homes and businesses.
The students were reportedly handed over to the police by their parents due to fears of retaliation.
In Egypt, the law against blasphemy is coded by Article 98(f) of the Egyptian Penal Code. Article 98(f) criminalizes a series of faith-related comments, including “insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it.”
“Confinement for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years, or a fine of not less than five hundred pounds and not exceeding one thousand pounds 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.”
Recently, Karim Ashraf Mohamed al Banna has been sentenced to three years in prison for announcing on Facebook that he was an atheist and thereby “insulting Islam.” The 21-year-old student was arrested in November, 2014, with a group of other people at a cafe in Cairo.
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