CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian Copt arrested on suspicion of posting an anti-Islam video online that ignited Muslim protests around the world will stand trial next Wednesday on charges of insulting religions, the state news agency MENA said on Monday.
Computer science graduate Alber Saber, 27, was arrested at his Cairo home on September 13 after neighbors accused him of uploading sections of the film “Innocence of Muslims” and making another movie mocking all religions.
His case has raised concerns over freedom of expression under Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, who came to power in free elections earlier this year after the 2011 popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Many Christian Copts have been concerned about the political rise of Islamists since Mubarak’s fall and fret about any action that could stoke tensions with their Muslim compatriots.
The crude film made in California portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer, thug and child molester. Angry Muslim crowds stormed U.S. embassies around the Arab world. In Libya, the U.S. ambassador was killed by Islamist militants.
Human rights lawyers say Saber was arrested without a prosecutor’s warrant and that he was beaten during interrogation. Security officials have refused to talk publicly about the case, but a judicial source said the police had acted on the instructions of prosecutors.
Prosecutors have accused him Alber of running Facebook pages calling for atheism, insulting Islam and Christianity and questioning religious beliefs, and have referred him to a Cairo misdemeanor court.
Saber’s lawyer wasn’t immediately available for comment. His mother, Kariman Ghali, said her son had done nothing wrong.
Reporting by Tamim Elyan and Ali Abdelattai; Editing by Mark Heinrich