Police in Ijara, Garissa County, Kenya, are preparing a blasphemy charge against a primary school teacher that have trampled on a copy of the holy Quran during an English lesson.
The teacher faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
Although Kenya has no penal law specific to blasphemy, local police are invoking a rarely used section of the Penal Code to charge the teacher with the crime of insulting religion. They intend to arraign him Monday morning according to Ijara OCPD Emanuel Rono, who spoke to The Standard on Sunday.
Mr Rono said the teacher was treated for injuries sustained in an attack by a mob that wanted to lynch him last Wednesday.
A misdemeanor is less stringent than a felony under the Penal Code but attracts a fine or jail term of no more than three years, depending on a magistrate’s discretion.
It is not clear whether anyone has been charged or convicted under this law in independent Kenya.Twice in the past two decades, the State has drawn such charges against suspects but withdrawn before trial.
The unnamed teacher was treated for injuries when enraged residents invaded Taqwa Academy in Masalani township in Ijara sub-county last Wednesday and tried to lynch him. According to Rono, the first attack occurred last Monday but snowballed into a crisis two days later when the mob stormed the school.
According to witnesses, the 30-year-old male teacher lost his front teeth in the attack and was bleeding profusely when the police rescued him.