CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced three Coptic Christian teenagers to five years in jail for contempt of Islam after they appeared in a video reciting Muslim prayers.
A judge in the central Egyptian province of Minya also sent a fourth defendant, aged 15, to a juvenile detention centre for an indefinite period.
Defence lawyer Maher Naguib said the four had not intended to insult Islam in the video, but merely to mock the beheadings carried out by jihadists of the Islamic State group.
The video was filmed on a mobile phone in January 2015 when the three teenagers who were sentenced to five years were aged between 15 and 17.
The four had not yet been arrested as of Thursday and Naguib said he planned to appeal the judgement.
“They have been sentenced for contempt of Islam and inciting sectarian strife,” Naguib told AFP.
“The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment.”
In the video, one teenager can be seen kneeling on the ground and reciting Muslim prayers while others stand behind him, laughing.