Christians Boys Convicted of Desecrating Quran in Egypt

Two Egyptian Boys Convicted of Desecrating Koran, but Released

Judge quietly sends Coptic Christian children home; appeal denied.

ICC Note: Two Christian boys accused of blasphemy in Egypt were found guilty of “showing contempt for Islam” in court, but they will not face imprisonment, Morning Star News reports. The boys had been held in a juvenile prison since April 2012 for allegedly desecrating the Quran. Attorney Karam Ghoubrial said the boys had been falsely charged and the accusations against them were “all lies”.  

3/6/2013 Egypt (Morning Star News) – A court in Egypt has quietly found two Coptic Christian boys guilty of “showing contempt for Islam” but only remanded them to the custody of their parents, an attorney for one of the children said.

In a case of alleged blasphemy that inflamed passions in provincial Egypt, a judge in Beni Suef, 62 miles south of Cairo, ruled the two boys guilty of desecrating pages of the Koran in spite of conflicting statements by the accuser and doubts about the functionally illiterate boys’ capacity to identify Koranic verses, attorney Karam Ghoubrial said.

The judge cited the boys’ age in the light sentence; they were 9 and 10 at the time of the Sept. 30 incident. By issuing a guilty verdict in near secrecy on Feb. 4 – the ruling came to light only the past week – and declining to hand down prison time or a fine, the judge seems to have averted foreign criticism while quelling the anger of Muslim villagers.

The same day the ruling was issued, the boys’ lawyers appealed on grounds that the accuser’s testimony contradicted statements he made to law enforcement officers. On Feb. 24, the court declined to hear the appeal, stating that is was unnecessary, and allowed the guilty verdict to stand.

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