Blasphemy Ruling Against Christian Teacher in Egypt Illegal, Says Lawyer

Safaa Zaki Murad, a member of the defense team of Coptic teacher Demiana Abdel Nour, insisted the court's judgment against the Coptic teacher has nothing to do with the law.

Murad pointed out that the ruling is illegal and was issued to satisfy religious militants, reflecting a legal farce under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Murad told Mideast Christian News that article 161 of the Penal Code, according to the description from the prosecutors in the charge of the Coptic teacher, provides for permissibility of imprisonment or a fine between 100 EGP and 500 EGP. That is significantly less than the 100,000 EGP the teacher was ordered to pay.

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Murad noted that the court ignored repeated requests to annex the investigations by the Administrative Prosecution and listen to defense witnesses, including Mustafa Mekki, the principal of the school where Nour worked.

Mohamed Hassan, chairman of the Board of Trustees, was also denied participation in the legal proceedings. A request was also denied insisting the National Security division investigate the father of one of the students who filed the complaint.

That request was to discredit the unnamed man who was involved in the Islamization of underage girls in 2010.

The coordinator of the Islamic Lawyers Association in Luxor filed a complaint against Coptic teacher Demiana Abdel Nour, who taught social studies at the Sheikh Sultan primary school in Odaysat, south of Luxor.

The lawyer accused her of contempt of Islam, insulting the Prophet Mohamed and proselytizing among her fourth grade students.

The prosecutor of Luxor, on May 14, referred Nour to a speedy trial only a few hours after the prosecutor general released her on 20,000 EGP bail pending investigation. A judgment was passed against the teacher on Tuesday fining her of 100,000 EGP.

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