Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Egypt; 9 and 10 year old boys accused of desecrating the Qur'an found guilty and then quietly released

This is enough to kill for

Trying to appease both sides; the hardliners who demanded a conviction for urinating on pages of an (alleged) Qur'an and those who wanted the boys to be released as they could not read and could not identify any writing, much less Arabic from the Qur'an.  International pressure helped, but the release of the boys does not mean this will not happen again.

From Morningstar News March 6

Two Egyptian Boys Convicted of Desecrating Koran, but Released

CAIRO, Egypt (Morning Star News) – A court in Egypt has quietly found two Coptic Christian boys guilty of “showing contempt for Islam” but only remanded them to the custody of their parents, an attorney for one of the children said.

In a case of alleged blasphemy that inflamed passions in provincial Egypt, a judge in Beni Suef, 62 miles south of Cairo, ruled the two boys guilty of desecrating pages of the Koran in spite of conflicting statements by the accuser and doubts about the functionally illiterate boys’ capacity to identify Koranic verses, attorney Karam Ghoubrial said.

The judge cited the boys’ age in the light sentence; they were 9 and 10 at the time of the Sept. 30 incident. By issuing a guilty verdict in near secrecy on Feb. 4 – the ruling came to light only the past week – and declining to hand down prison time or a fine, the judge seems to have averted foreign criticism while quelling the anger of Muslim villagers.
The same day the ruling was issued, the boys’ lawyers appealed on grounds that the accuser’s testimony contradicted statements he made to law enforcement officers. On Feb. 24, the court declined to hear the appeal, stating that is was unnecessary, and allowed the guilty verdict to stand.
Nabil Farag and Mina Rizq (previously misidentified as Nabil Naji Rizq and Mina Atallah) were rummaging through a trash pile in Ezbat Marco in Beni Suef Province when they supposedly desecrated pieces of paper containing verses from the Koran, according to the father of Mina Rizq. He said the boys are innocent.
“Our village is on Bahar Mousa Canal, and there is a part where women dump rubbish, and children go to look for some nails or metal things to sell,” Nady Rizq told Morning Star News. 

“While they were playing in the rubbish, a man called Ibrahim Mohammed Ali went to look and saw a few pieces of papers with dirt on them and thought that the boys peed on it and tore the Koran, but they didn’t.”
Rizq said Ali took the boys to a church and interrupted the priest during a service to announce the accusation. The priest allegedly slapped one of the boys, according to attorney Ghoubrial, and demanded to know what they did. The boys said they hadn’t done anything wrong.
That evening, Ali reported the incident to local police, and the boys were taken into custody that day.

Read it all

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