Egypt Imprisons Christian Teacher for Insulting President

Orders Arrest of US Copts Over YouTube Trailer

by Jason Ditz, September 18, 2012

Promises of reforms after the end of the Mubarak era haven’t borne out, as Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s government is continuing to harshly crack down on dissent both at home and abroad.

Today, a Coptic Christian teacher in southern Egypt was sentenced to six years in prison for posts on Facebook which were deemed an “insult” to Islam as well as an “affront” to President Mursi. Scores of protesters were outside the courtroom demanding an even more harsh sentence.

State censorship has continued to be a serious problem in Egypt, after the regime closed a newspaper and launched cases against multiple journalists last month for “fueling sedition.”

But now they have designs on imposing their laws abroad, charging a number of US Coptic Christians with charges over allegations they were involved in an anti-Muslim YouTube trailer which caused protests in Cairo. Egypt has promised to press the US on extradition, though this seems almost certainly a non-starter.

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