Middle East

Coptic Children Released After Initial Arrest For 'Insulting Islam'

(Updated) Two boys, ages 9 and 10, were released pending investigation and questioning but not acquitted.

Update (Mar. 6): An Egyptian court has convicted two boys, Rzik Nagy, 10, and Mina Farag, 9, of blasphemy against the Qur'an.

Luckily, this case has a silver lining: In spite of the conviction, the boys only were "remanded...to the custody of their parents" because of their young age.

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In the wake of the high-profile case of Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl arrested for allegedly blaspheming the Qur'an, two Coptic Christian boys face similar accusations in Egypt this week.

Nabil Nagy Rizk, 10, and Mina Nady Farag, 9, were arrested Wednesday for insulting Islam, but the attorney general ordered both boys to be released the next day "due to their young age." Both families agreed to return to court for questioning, but the boys previously had been placed in a juvenile detention center to await their hearing on Sunday.

Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, the village imam, accused the children of tearing up pages of the Qur'an. Other reports say the boys also ...

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