Egypt Independent

Writer Fatma Naoot’s sentence reduced to six months



An Egypt court accepted Thursday the appeal of writer and poet Fatma Naoot against a three-year sentence handed down to her for blasphemy, reducing it instead to six months.

In January, Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison and fined LE20,000 for "contempt of Islam".
 
Naoot was brought to court for comments she made in October 2014, when she criticized the Islamic ritual of sacrificing animals for the Greater Bairam feast (Eid Al-Adha) in a post she wrote on Facebook.
 
During the Eid Al-Adha religious holiday, Muslims slaughter cattle in a sacred act of sacrifice. Naoot described the act as an annual "massacre."
 
In reference to Prophet Ibrahim, she said that although the "nightmare" of one of the pious men concerning his righteous son had passed in peace, helpless creatures continue to pay the price every year for this "holy nightmare".
 
She was referred to trial in December 2014 for "contempt of the Islamic religion and mockery of an Islamic ritual," after a group of lawyers filed a complaint against her.
 
During investigations, Naoot affirmed that she had published the Facebook post, but strongly denied contempt of Islam, adding that she, herself, is a Muslim, and that what she wrote on Facebook was a gesture of humor aimed at her readers.
 
The case has sparked criticism from rights groups and journalists, who deemed it an encroachment on freedom of expression and opinion.
 
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm