Poet Fatma Naoot’s sentence reduced to six months

Thursday 24-11-2016 01:21 PM

Egyptian writer and poet Fatma Naoot - Facebook photo

CAIRO, Nov 24 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egypt court accepted on Thursday writer and poet Fatma Naoot’s appeal against a three-year sentence handed down to her for contempt of religion, reducing it to six months.

In January, Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison and fined EGP 20,000 for "contempt of Islam."

Naoot was brought to court for comments she made in October 2014 when she criticised the Islamic ritual of sacrificing animals on the day of Eid al-Adha in a post she wrote on Facebook. During the religious holiday, Eid al-Adha, Muslims slaughter cattle in a symbol 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 has passed in peace, helpless creatures 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 investigation, Naoot affirmed that she had published the Facebook post, but strongly denied contempt of Islam, adding that she is a Muslim, and what she wrote on Facebook was a gesture of humour aimed at her readers.

The case has sparked criticism from rights groups and journalists, who deemed it an encroachment on the freedom of expression and opinion.

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