Seven Coptic Christians and a controversial pastor based in the US were today sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court for their role in producing an anti-Islam film that triggered violent protests across the Muslim world.
The Cairo Criminal Court handed down the death penalty to the seven Egyptian Christians, including the film's maker. The American pastor, Terry Jones, who heads a small congregation in Florida, was also sentenced to death.
They were sentenced for their role in producing the blasphemous movie, which led to widespread violent protests after being released on the Internet in September.
The eight convicts, who reside in the US, were declared fugitives by the court.
They were tried over charges like insulting Islam and negatively affecting national unity.