ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – One year after Muslim extremists in Egypt accused her of committing blasphemy during class, a Christian teacher who suspected she would not get a fair trial remains trapped in exile.
Demyana Abd Al-Nour, 25, a first-year social studies teacher at Sheikh Sultan Primary School in a village in Upper Egypt, fled the country last May, before she was formally charged with violating Article 98f of the Egyptian Criminal Code. Although human rights organizations across Egypt roundly condemned the allegations against her as false and a violation of human rights, prosecutors brought charges against Al-Nour, and the court refused to dismiss the case.
Human rights groups also condemned the charges because they came at a time of widespread hostility toward Christians, with blasphemy accusations increasingly used to persecute Copts. Al-Nour’s decision to flee Egypt and seek protection in France appeared to be justified when the court later refused to admit witnesses and reports demonstrating her innocence. On June 11, 2013 she was convicted and fined an exorbitant amount, 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$14,270), far beyond her low-income family’s ability to pay.
Photo: Yasser Nazmi