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Egyptian writer to face trial for defaming Islam

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Egyptian prosecutors have referred a writer to a criminal trial on charges of showing contempt for Islam in a tweet allegedly criticizing ritual slaughtering, state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported online Saturday.

The referral comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against Fatima Naoot, accusing her of defaming Islam in a tweet in October commenting on Muslims’ annual slaughtering of animals to mark Eid al-Adha, according to al-Ahram.

“A happy massacre,” read the tweet.

No specific date has been set for the trial.

Naoot, a poet and a columnist in independent newspaper al-Masry al-Youm, denied on Saturday she had meant to lampoon Islam.

“I respect all religions,” she said on her Facebook page.

“This is the bill footed by those who carry torches of enlightenment,” she added, commenting on her trial.

Naoot could be jailed for up to five years if convicted.

In June, an Egyptian court upheld a five-year prison sentence handed down to another writer on charges of showing contempt for religion in a collection of short stories. SAPA


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