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Four Egyptian teens were forced to flee to Switzerland over a video they made


Four teens were forced to flee to Switzerland from Egypt after being charged with blasphemy over a video that allegedly defamed Islam, according to Morning Star News.

The teens, all Coptic Christians, recorded a video where one teen mimicked the Islamic daily prayer while another held his hand to his throat like a knife. (The video has not been posted online.) 

The video was discovered shortly after ISIS released a video of a mass beheading of Coptic Christians.

People were arguing over who would get the blessing and honor of killing me, or if they should all join in and have part of the blessing.
Albir Shehata, one of the boys involved

The boys were imprisoned after Gad Younan, who recorded the video, lost his phone and the video was discovered by the person who found it in April 2015. It sparked a mob of angry Muslims beating Copts in the village, according to Morning Star News. 

The boys were imprisoned and ultimately charged with defaming a "holy religion," a law which the boys say is only ever used to punish Christians. They faced five years in prison after spending weeks in jail before bail payments could be made.

The boys' defense attorney tried to tie the video to the ISIS beheading video, but the boys said they had not heard of ISIS when the video was made. Rumors spread about the video, including that it was a movie trailer or a sample of a longer video (both were false; the video is about 30 seconds long).

The boys (Moller Yasa, Klenton Faragalla, Bassem Younan and Albir Shehata) ultimately fled to Switzerland via Turkey. They are seeking asylum in Switzerland. 

Faragalla said he hopes to return to Egypt.

"We're not going to lose hope about going back to Egypt in the future," he said.

Should countries have laws against blaspheming a religion?

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