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

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.