An Egyptian court set 14 February as the date on which a Christian man accused of raping a Muslim girl will be sentenced. The government claims the incident triggered sectarian violence that erupted in Upper Egypt.
Egyptian police arrested George Barome, 21, in November 2009 on charges of raping a 12-year-old Muslim girl in Qena Governorate’s village of Farshout located 600km south of Cairo.
Following the incident, angry Muslims burned and destroyed dozens of shops belonging to Christians in the village. The Ministry of Interior said the incident may also underlie motives for the killing of six Christians and a Muslim guard in the city of Naga Hammadi following Orthodox Christmas celebrations on 6 January 2009. Naga Hammadi is located near Farshout.
Protesting the court's refusal that specialists examine the defendant and provide a medical report, three lawyers from the defendant’s defense team threatened to withdraw from the case.
An earlier report released by the Department of Forensic Medicine revealed that the defendant had raped the child. The defendant confessed to the crime in front of the public prosecutor but later claimed innocence in court.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.