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Egyptian Christian jailed for contempt of religion

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Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:53 am | Updated: 12:34 pm, Tue Jun 24, 2014.

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian Christian has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for blasphemy and contempt of religion.

A Luxor court issued its verdict Tuesday against Kerolos Ghattas, 30, after his arrest this month for posting pictures deemed insulting to Islam on his Facebook page.

Ghattas' arrest sparked fears of sectarian conflict in his village, where unidentified assailants have hurled molotov cocktails on shops owned by Christians. Local authorities beefed up security in the village on Tuesday.

The verdict can be appealed. Egypt has witnessed a rise in the number of cases of Coptic Christians — estimated as 10 percent of the population — over the past three years.

On Monday, another Christian journalist — a convert — was been sentenced to six years in prison over his coverage of sectarian strife.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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