Egyptian Copt jailed for contempt of religion
June 24, 2014 04:03 PM
By Hagag Salama
Unidentified Egyptians throw stones towards Coptic Christians during sectarian clashes outside the Egyptian Coptic cathedral in Cairo's Abbassiya neighborhood April 7, 2013. (AFP PHOTO
Ghattas' arrest sparked fears of sectarian conflict in his village, where unidentified assailants have hurled molotov cocktails at shops owned by Christians. Local authorities beefed up security in the village Tuesday.
The verdict can be appealed. Egypt has witnessed a rise in the number of cases of Coptic Christians - estimated as 10 percent of the population - over the past three years.
Another Christian journalist - a convert - was sentenced Monday to six years in prison over his coverage of recent sectarian strife.
Egypt's Christians have complained of discrimination by the nation's Muslim majority.
They have heavily invested in the anti-Islamist movement in the hope of gaining equal rights with their Muslim compatriots, and have overwhelmingly backed President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who overthrew the Islamist president last Jul
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