Egypt sentence of 80 lashes for inebriation overturned

Prosecutor based sentence on Koran rather than Egyptian law is sign of growing Islamization; punishment canceled and probe ordered.

April 25, 2013 20:37
MOHAMED MORSI, center, prays at Al-Azhar mosque in

MOHAMED MORSI, center, prays at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

An Egyptian prosecutor ruled a party-goer deserved 80 lashes for getting drunk at a wedding, the first punishment of its kind and a sign of the growing Islamization of Egyptian society.

This according to a report in the London-based paper Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday.

Mohamed Ragab was arrested last Friday on charges of public inebriation after police administered a blood alcohol test.

State prosecutor Hussein Anan sentenced Ragab to 80 lashes, basing his verdict on the Koran rather than Egyptian law, the report said.

Later, another prosecutor canceled the punishment and ordered an investigation into the incident.

The AP reported that Gama’a Islamiya, a radical Islamist group, criticized that the sentence was given by the prosecutor and not the judge, but didn’t disagree with the punishment.

“It is essential to purify the law governing punishments from all that contradicts Shari’a,” the group said, as quoted by the report.

The punishment for public drunkenness is usually a small fine or short prison sentence; Egypt does not allow flogging.

The government announced it would stop issuing licenses to sell alcohol in some urban areas, Bloomberg reported in February.

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