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ICC Note: Convictions for blasphemy have increased dramatically since 2011 and Christians have been the primary target of these cases. The punishments for these cases which are often made with little real evidence have ranged from multiple years of jail time to fines of more than $10,000, and expulsion from their homes. Restrictions on the countries Islamic groups have nearly vanished while secularists and Christians have become the target of increasingly intense persecution.
By BEN HUBBARD and MAYY EL SHEIKH
6/18/2013 Egypt (New York Times) – Egypt’s prosecutors have been flooded with blasphemy complaints since 2011 as Islamists exercising their new societal clout have pushed for prosecutions and courts have handed down steep fines and prison terms for insulting religion.
This month alone, a Christian teacher in Luxor was fined $14,000 for insulting the Prophet Muhammad in class, a writer was given five years in prison for promoting atheism and a Christian lawyer was sentenced to one year for insulting Islam — in a private conversation.
Blasphemy cases were once rare in Egypt, and their frequency has increased sharply since the revolution. More than two dozen cases have gone to trial, and nearly all defendants have been found guilty. At least 13 have received prison sentences.
The campaign is driven at the local level, where religious activists have also forced officials to suspend teachers and professors. In at least 10 cases, Christian families have been expelled from their homes after perceived insults, according to Ishaq Ibrahim of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

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