Egypt jails alleged atheist

Cairo – A rights lawyer says an Egyptian court has sentenced an alleged atheist to three years in prison over posts on Facebook depicted as “an assault on religion.”

Lawyer Ahmed Abdel-Nabi said on Monday that a court in the Nile Delta province of Beheira sentenced Karim al-Banna, a 20-year-old student, after holding a single session during which lawyers were denied the right to present their defense.

He said that al-Banna was arrested in November, after he went to a police station to file a complaint that some villagers had assaulted him. Instead, he was arrested over allegations that he is an atheist.

Abdel-Nabi said al-Banna will be free, after paying 1000 Egyptian pounds ($140) in bail until his appeal is heard.

The lawyer described the verdict as “shocking.”

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