Egypt Independent

Court dismisses religious contempt case against Adel Imam and colleagues

Agouza Misdemeanor Court dismissed Thursday a lawsuit filed against actor Adel Imam, writer Linen al-Ramley, writer Wahid Hamed, director Mohamed Fadel, director Sherif Arafa, actor Yasser Galal and other directors affiliated with Imam's films, accusing them of showing contempt for religion in their works. The court fined the lawyer who filed the lawsuit LE50 for the defendants' court fee.

After hearing the verdict, a number of artists and actors gathered outside the court chanted "Freedom, freedom, down with the rule of the supreme guide."

The verdict comes few days after a court convicted comedian Imam for a second time of insulting Islam, which prompted artists and industry professionals to stage a protest Thursday outside the court in support of their colleagues.

During the earlier trial, Imam was sentenced to three months in prison.

A number of artists, most prominently Nabil al-Halafawy and Jihan Fadel, took part in the protest and chanted "What has Adel Imam done to be sentenced to prison?"

There wereverbal altercations between the artists in solidarity with Imam and a number of passersby outside the headquarters of North Giza Court, on Sudan Street, just before the hearing.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm