By: Nourhan Dakroury
The Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) filed an appeal to the prosecution regarding the renewal of the detention of Demiana Abdel Nour for another 15 days.
The prosecution is expected to look into their appeal on Tuesday, according to Ahmed Ezzat, director of AFTE’s legal unit.
The National Salvation Front announced their support for Demiana Abdel Nour after her detention was renewed, calling it a “vicious attack” on her.
Abdel Nour, a teacher in Luxor, was accused of insulting Islam because she allegedly compared between the Prophet Mohammed and Pope Shenouda III in her social studies class, according to Ezzat. He added that there is no proof that Abdel Nour insulted Islam and that she was merely doing her job under the social studies curriculum assigned by the Ministry of Education.
“There was absolutely no reason for the renewal,” said Ezzat.
According to a press release by AFTE, the association is asking members of parliament to eliminate any kind of law that makes blasphemy illegal. Such cases violate people’s freedom of expression, according to AFTE’s statement.
Ezzat said that such cases, which are usually filed against Copts, are spreading throughout Upper Egypt. He added that they threaten the lives of those accused and that it’s a way of stripping them of their freedom of expression.