Egypt wants Sudan to explain why it jailed 2 Egyptians for blasphemy

December 18, 2007 17:41


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Egypt wants an explanation from Sudan after a court sentenced two Egyptians to six months in prison for selling a book the Khartoum government believes was offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad, a senior diplomat was quoted as saying Tuesday. Ahmed el-Quweisiny, an assistant to Egypt's foreign minister, said a Sudanese court sentenced the two Egyptians on Sunday after they were found guilty of selling a book at the Khartoum International Book Fair that it considered blasphemous and slanderous to Islam, the semiofficial Egyptian news agency, MENA, reported. The Sudanese government has not commented about the sentencing. The verdict did not appear in any official local media, though the independent Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper in Sudan published brief articles about it. The ruling comes about two weeks after Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir pardoned a British school teacher who was convicted of the same charge after her elementary school students named a teddy bear Muhammad.

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