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Commitment to Egypt’s new constitution questioned comment (0)

July 3, 2014

LUXOR, Egypt — Charges of “blasphemy” against a Christian in Egypt for “liking” a Facebook page run by converts from Islam calls into question the government’s commitment to a new constitution guaranteeing freedom of belief and thought, rights activists said.

Kerolos Shouky Attallah is accused of violating Article 98F of the Egyptian Penal Code for “liking” an Arabic-language Facebook page administered by an anonymous group of Christian converts known as the Knights of the Cross. According to Attallah’s attorney the 29-year-old Christian did not make any comments on the site, share any of the postings or upload anything to it.

Safwat Samaan, chairman of Nation Without Borders, a human rights and development group headquartered in Luxor, Egypt, said the accusation against Attallah was ludicrous.

The Knights of the Cross Facebook page was designed to provide Arabic-speaking converts from Islam — many forced to live alone and in hiding — a cyber-place to encourage each other and safely discuss the Bible. 

“According to the constitution, Kerolos should not be in jail, because it allows freedom of speech and expression, but the judges are not using the new constitution and are still working with the old law,” Samaan said. 

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