By Emir Nader
An Egyptian student is evading authorities after a court confirmed a three-year prison sentence on charges of contempt of religion and insulting the divine.
Engineering student Karim Al-Banna was arrested in November and in January, after 55 days in detention in the Idku District, the Misdemeanour Court handed out the stiff sentence. The Court allowed for a bail of EGP 3,000 to suspend the prison term.
However, Ahmed Abdel Naby, Al-Banna’s defence lawyer, told Daily News Egypt that on Monday the prosecution successfully appealed the initial suspended prison sentence given to Al-Banna in January.
Al-Banna, 23, was accused of using his Facebook account to publish articles about atheism and which “belittle the divine”.
Lawyer Abdel Naby, who works with the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), said that “the lawyer working with the prosecution is known for extremely Islamist affiliations. He even called for there to be no hearing and for Karim to be sent to jail without trial.” In the initial hearing Abdel Naby said that they were not given opportunity to present their defence case.
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