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Egyptian Christians have requested prayer concerning a legal case involving two young boys who were accused of defacing pages of a Koran in 2012. Mina Nady Farag and Nabil Nagy Rizk, ages nine and ten, were detained on 30 September when Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, a local imam from their home village of Ezbet Marco in the Beni Suef province of Egypt, accused the children of tearing pages of a Koran. The boys, both illiterate, claimed that they found pages of the Koran amongst rubbish and were unaware what they had found and were playing with.

In October 2012, after a meeting involving local Christians and an international outcry, President Morsi announced a pardon for the boys. In January it emerged, however, that the case was being continued under Article 160 of the penal code which criminalises damage to or violation of religious “buildings, symbols or other objects.” During a hearing on 28 January the prosecution presented conflicting evidence. Despite this, on 4 February the court ruled that they be returned to their parents, without an acquittal. Legally, this means they are considered guilty but are too young to face punishment. An appeal court has ruled that there are no grounds for an appeal. Source: Middle East Concern