Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Study shows Christians disproportionately accused, sentenced.
ICC Note: Dimyana Obeid Abd Al-Nour, a 23-year-old Christian schoolteacher, will remain in jail for at least 15 more days while police investigate whether or not she committed blasphemy by insulting Islam in the classroom, Morning Star News reports. Amnesty International condemned the detention and demanded Al-Nour’s release. Blasphemy laws in Egypt, which were rarely enacted prior to the country’s revolution, are disproportionately used against Christians. “Forty-one percent of blasphemy cases taken to court from Jan. 25, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2012, were filed against Christians, who make up only about 10 percent of Egypt’s population,” the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights told Morning Star News.
5/13/2013 Egypt (Morning Star News) – A judge in Egypt on Saturday (May 11) ordered 15 days of additional incarceration for a Coptic Christian teacher jailed last week on accusations of blasphemy and evangelism.
Three elementary schoolchildren and some teachers in the village of Al-Edisat, Luxor Province had complained on April 10 about social studies teacher Dimyana Obeid Abd Al-Nour, who rotates among three schools in the area. They accused her of making allegedly blasphemous comments while she was teaching on April 8 about Amenhotep IV, later known as Akhenaten, a pharaoh who introduced a form of monotheistic theology to ancient Egypt.
Accounts differ, but in some versions of the alleged incident, Al-Nour also made comparisons between the former head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the late Pope Shenouda III, and Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
The three students from Sheikh Sultan Primary School, along with their parents and a handful of teachers, complained to the school administrator, and school officials contacted legal authorities. Al-Nour has not been charged, but on Thursday (May 9) the judge ordered her to be held in prison for four days pending the outcome of an investigation by the general prosecutor’s office.
Human rights group Amnesty International condemned the detention and demanded Al-Nour’s release in a press statement.
“It is outrageous that a teacher finds herself behind bars for teaching a class,” stated Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy Middle East and North Africa program director at Amnesty International. “If she made some professional mistake or deviated from the school curriculum, an internal review should have sufficed. The authorities must release Dimyana Obeid Abd Al-Nour immediately and drop these spurious charges against her.”

[Full Story]