Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced a Coptic Christian school teacher to six years in jail for posting cartoons on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam and for insulting President Mohamed Morsi and his family.
The Sohag Misdemeanour Court imposed three years jail on Bishoy Kamel for defaming Islam and Prophet Mohamed, two years for insulting President Morsi and one year for insulting Mohamed Safwat who made the allegations against him.
The prosecution said Kamel had used Facebook to deliberately defame the Prophet.
He is accused of insulting Morsi and showing contempt for society's sacred symbols, the prosecution said. Members of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya and various Salafist groups attempted to attack Kamel when he was taken out of the court after receiving his sentence. They pelted stones on the police car used to transport him from the court.
Kamel's lawyer has filed an appeal which will be heard on September 27 at a different court.
The defendant said he did not post the cartoons, claiming his Facebook account had been hacked two days before. He was arrested on July 30.
In June 2011, Naguib Sawiris, a Coptic billionaire and founder of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, was severely criticized after posting a cartoon of Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in Islamic garb.
Several Islamist lawyers subsequently lodged a complaint with Egypt's attorney-general against Sawiris, whom they accused of offending Islam.
Meanwhile, Egypt's public prosecutor ordered that seven US-based Egyptian Copts be tried for their role in a film deemed offfensive to Islam that sparked violent clashes around the world.
The seven - Adel Riad, Morris Sadek, Nabil Bissada, Esmat Zaklama, Elia Bassily, Ihab Yaacoub and Jack Atallah - were accused of insulting Islam and inciting sectarian strife.