By Mahitab Assran
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) warned of escalating judicial hostility towards those who speak freely regarding religion and are then accused of contempt of religion, according to a statement released by the rights group.
“The general prosecution’s quick response to such accusations [of contempt of religion] is worrying,” the EIPR statement read. “The law’s position is not clear regarding this matter as each verdict issued was different.
The statement asked the judiciary to stop issuing such punishments and to release those in prison for being accused of condemning religion as the constitution allowed the freedom of expression and religion according to articles 43 and 45.
This attitude, the rights group’s statement continued, is extended to the general public who protest in front of the courts and shout against those who are accused of contempt of religion and attack their lawyers.
The statement comes amid growing charges of contempt of religion throughout the country. So far in June these charges have been brought against Mostafa Hassan Ahmed, a teacher in Sohag; Damiana Abeed Abdel Nour, a teacher in Luxor; and Romany Murad Sa’ad, who was sentenced to a year in prison and hard labour in Assiut, according to the statement.