Egypt jails 19 for joining sect

An Egyptian court has sentenced 19 people to one year in jail for having joined an extremist religious sect.

    Those sentenced were followers of a self-styled ''prophet''

    In sending the 19 to jail, the High State Security Court on Wednesday overturned a previous court ruling of suspended jail terms, after President Husni Mubarak asked the court to reconsider the case.

    The court immediately ordered the 19, who were not present in the court, to be arrested and begin serving their jail terms.

    The 19, including two women, were arrested in March 2002 before they were given suspended jail terms in September of that year.

    The group's leader Sayyid Tulba was at the time sentenced to three years in jail, while another member of the group, Gamalat Sulayman was given a one-year prison term.

    Tall claims

    Tulba, a civil servant with the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, had declared himself "prophet of our time" and said he had powers to cure incurable diseases.

    He claimed to have received letters signed by God and to be able to speak to the angels.

    The presiding judge, Gamal Badran said the 19 were guilty of "having adhered to the doctrine of the sect leader, supported him and together practiced his extremist ideas."

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.