A Cairo court on Wednesday sentenced to death seven Egyptian Christians tried in absentia for participating in an anti-Islam video that was released on the Internet in September and had prompted violent protests in many Muslim countries.

"The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet," Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said.

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According to Egypt Independent, five of the defendants live in the United States, including the film's creator, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who is currently serving a one-year prison term in California over parole violations stemming from his role in the video. The two others live in Australia and Canada, respectively.

In his first public statements about the video published earlier this week in The New York Times, Nakoulaha said he had no regrets about his negative portrayal of Islam, as he wanted to reveal what he called "the actual truth" about Mohammad and raise awareness of the violence committed "under the sign of Allah."

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