Egyptian Arrested for the Crime of Forming a Facebook Group for Atheists

This story is tough to verify, but it wouldn’t be very surprising if it were true.

According to the English version of the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram, a 20-year-old (unnamed) student at Suez Canal University was arrested for committing an awful crime against religion:

He formed a Facebook group about atheism.

The accused student appeared before the prosecution, who transferred him to national security for further investigation.

Article 98 of Egypt’s penal code says anyone convicted of offending religion in any form can face up to six years in prison.

If it seems a little too far-fetched to believe, recall that Alber Saber was arrested, sentenced to three years in prison, and nearly killed after simply posting a link to the “blasphemous” movie “Innocence of Muslims” on his Facebook group’s page.

But to be arrested just for forming a group?! That’s a new low, even for Egypt.

I’ll post updates on this story if/when they come in.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
  • Rain

    It doesn’t sound like a new low to me. Sounds kinda normal for blasphemy/authoritarian type stuff.

  • Jim Jones

    And the US pays Egypt $1 billion a year? Easy come, easy go right?

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    “Article 98 of Egypt’s penal code says anyone convicted of offending religion in any form can face up to six years in prison.”

    This law has it’s use. Unemployment in Egypt is a major problem. Under this law, everyone offends a religion (Muslims offend Christianity, by not being Christian, Christians offend Christianity by not being Muslims, followers Sekhmet offend followers of Supay, and so on….) Thus at anyone time, you can arrest 1/2 the population and have the other half of the population employed as prison guards. Unemployment problem solved.

  • John

    “Article 98 of Egypt’s penal code says anyone convicted of offending religion in any form can face up to six years in prison.”

    So, once again, it seems our mere existence is offensive to religious people. And I bet there’s people calling him “militant” too.

  • John the Drunkard

    Of course, the attacks on Copts, the burning of churches etc. attracts no legal or civil action.


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