Egyptian court dismisses Islam insult case against artists

A Cairo misdemeanor court dismissed on Thursday a complaint against Egyptian comedy actor Adel Imam and other artists for insulting religion, days after another one sentenced him to jail on the same charge.

The court told the Islamist lawyer who brought the complaint that he had no standing to bring charges against the five artists, who include authors and directors, judicial sources said.

The lawyer said they defamed Islam in their works.

On Tuesday, another court upheld a three-month prison sentence for Imam, one of the region's most famous actors, after a February conviction in absentia.

Imam, who has acted in several movies critical of violent Islamist radicals, told AFP on Tuesday he would appeal the verdict and remains free on bail.

"Many people support me," he said, while declining to comment further.

Hardline Islamists have recourse to misdemeanor courts to punish people they say insult Islam.

Last year, a Cairo court threw out a case against Coptic Christian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, after an Islamist lawyer accused him of insulting the religion by posting on Twitter a cartoon of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Islamic garb.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon