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09/10/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – An Egyptian Christian sentenced to jail on blasphemy charges remains incarcerated eight months after his release date. Abd Adel Bebawy was due for release on January 22nd, after serving three years in jail for allegedly posting a video on Facebook which insulted Islam. A mob subsequently attacked the homes of local Christians. Rather than holding the mob accountable, the authorities blamed Bebawy and charged him with blasphemy.

The authorities allege that if they release Bebawy from prison, then it will incite mob violence in his home village. However, Bebawy’s family has not lived in the village since the incident and they have no intention of returning home.  He is incarcerated in a prison far away from the village, so there is no concern that the village would protest the prison.

Bebawy’s prison sentence should never have happened and shows that rather than protecting victims, the authorities blame them. His continued incarceration is nonsensical. There is no official judicial reason for his continued imprisonment. Egypt’s security forces have a responsibility to protect victims, not punish them in order to placate a potential mob. By continuing to imprison Bebawy, Egypt is showing a blatant disregard for human rights.

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