Today, Karim al-Banna will learn if an appeals court has decided to affirm his three-year jail term for “insulting” Islam. If he doesn’t have to stay behind bars, Al-Banna, a former Muslim Brotherhood member who became an atheist, would like to leave the country. Egypt, he says, is a horribly inhospitable place for a non-believer.
“All I want now is to leave Egypt. Life is not possible for atheists here,” the 23-year-old engineering student told AFP from his home in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. If he loses the appeal over his self-declared atheism on Facebook, Banna’s last resort would be Egypt’s cassation court. Arrested in November, he was released on bail after having spent 55 days behind bars. “It was like living in a tomb,” he said.
Even his own father betrayed him, testifying against his son to avoid being tainted by the “scandal” surrounding al-Banna.