Et “forår” uden frihed!

Egyptiske Muhammedtegninger udløser vold i byerne og en lang fængselsstraf til den 17 årige tegner

Af Hans Erling Jensen
Kilde: Barnabas Weekly

Tre års fængsel til 17 årig dreng

En egyptisk domstol idømte onsdag en 17-årig ​​kristen dreng til tre år i fængsel for at offentliggøre tegninger, der hånede islam og profeten Muhammed, på sin Facebook-side. Handlingen affødte alvorlige episoder med sekterisk vold. Gamal Abdou Massoud blev ligeledes anklaget for at distribuere sine tegninger til sine skolekammerater i en landsby i den sydlige by Assiut, som er hjemsted for en stor kristen befolkning og hjemby for den afdøde koptiske pave Shenouda.

Tegningerne, der blev lagt ud på FaceBook af Massoud i december, hidsede adskillige muslimer op til at angribe kristne i området. Flere kristne huse blev brændt ned, og flere blev såret i de mange voldsepisoder.

Menneskerettighedsadvokaten, Negad al-Borai, sagde efter dommen, at den lange fængselsstraf var den maksimale straf i henhold til egyptisk lov for en sådan forbrydelse.

Kristne, der udgør omkring 10 procent af landets 80 millioner indbyggere, har længe haft et vanskeligt forhold til Egyptens overvejende muslimsk flertal. Spændingerne mellem muslimer og kristne har simret i årevis, men er blevet værre siden oprøret, der væltede Hosni Mubarak. Kristne bliver mere og mere bekymrede over stigningen  i angrebene på deres kirker, som de beskylder ekstremistiske islamister at stå bag.

 

Fra Barnabas Weekly

Gamal’s plight follows a number of other cases brought against Christians and secularists for blasphemy in recent months, heightening concerns that freedom of expression is being stifled in the post-revolution Egyptian order.

Last month, Makram Diab was jailed for six years, double the maximum sentence, for “insulting” Muhammad following a dispute with a Muslim colleague. An appeal hearing scheduled for 15 March was prevented from going ahead by over 300 Muslim lawyers who blocked Makram’s defence team from entering the court.

A 23-year-old Christian, Ayman Youssef Mansour, was sentenced to three years in prison in November 2011 for comments he wrote on his Facebook page that were considered derogatory to Islam.

Lawsuits brought against high-profile Christian businessman and liberal political leader Naguib Sawaris were, however, thrown out of court. He had been charged with “blasphemy and insulting Islam” for an image he tweeted last June depicting Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Islamic guise, with a long beard and face veil respectively.

Egyptian Christians have expressed anger and frustration at the double standards applied regarding the country’s “contempt of religion” law.

Dr Naguib Gobrail, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organisations, said that he and other lawyers have filed several complaints to the Attorney General against Muslims for alleged contempt of Christianity but none has been taken up. He said:

“[Christians] have received a barrage of insults to their faith and their symbols and have had churches torched and destroyed, and no one has done anything about it.”

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