Christian teacher jailed for blasphemy

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Cairo - An Egyptian appeals court upheld a blasphemy conviction against a Coptic Christian teacher and sentenced her to six months in prison on Sunday, overturning an earlier ruling that only imposed a fine.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said the appellate court in Luxor ruled that elementary school teacher Dimyana Abdel-Nour had insulted Islam in front of her pupils.

Last year, Abdel-Nour was convicted and ordered to pay a fine of 100 000 Egyptian pounds (about $14 000), but she appealed. MENA reported that the prosecutors also appealed, saying the crime must be punishable by a prison sentence, not only a fine.

Three 10-year-olds had complained to their parents that Abdel-Nour showed disgust for Islam when discussing it in class. Egypt has seen a surge in blasphemy charges in recent years.


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