Four teens and their teacher in Egypt are facing convictions for recording a 30-second video mocking the ISIS. The move is being condemned by the rights groups, who are pressuring the government to take down the blasphemy charges laid on the students and their teacher.
The NBC news reported that all four students are Coptic Christians that make 10 percent of the Egyptian population and have always accused the Muslim majority of discrimination.
An Egyptian court sentenced the four teens for contempt of Islam on February 25 for appearing in a video and seemingly making fun of Muslim prayers. Three of the four Christian teenagers were given four and five years of jail term, while the other one has been sent to a juvenile detention facility, the Associated Press reported.
“These children shouldn’t face prison for expressing themselves, even with an immature joke,” the NBC News quoted Human Rights Watch as saying on Monday. It also urged the Egyptian government to stand up for free speech and not give in to the retrograde views.
“Mocking ISIS, or any religious group, with a childish joke, is not a crime,” Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
The video was made by the four teenagers, Mueller Edward, 17; Bassem Hanna, 16; Alber Ashraf, 16; Clinton Yousef, 17 and Gad Yousef Younan, their teacher, in response to the beheading of fellow Christians. A video was released by an ISIS affiliate last year which showed the beheading of 21 Christians in Libya.
The victims in that video and the accused teens are all Coptic Christians and also members of the same Egyptians region called Minyam, located 160 miles to the south of Cairo, the Inquisitr reported.
The video which led to the conviction of the teens showed them praying. One of them was kneeling and another was reciting verses from the Quran while the rest of the two were standing behind and laughing. One of the teens made a hand gesture which implied beheading. The teacher had filmed the video.