Two Kabyl Christians sentenced to heavy prison terms
On 16 December, a court in Amizour sentenced Abdelghani Mammeri, a young Coptic Orthodox to six months in prison and a fine of 100,000 DA (*). During the trial, the Prosecutor of the Republic demanded two years in prison and a fine of 200,000 DA. The young Christian, a convert, was accused of “offending the Prophet and showing disrespect to religious principles”. He was poorly defended by his lawyer who even advised him to recant his new faith.
On 3 December, Mebrouk Bouakaz, was tried by the same court on the same grounds. The prosecutor demanded six months in prison and a fine of 200,000 DA but the judge sentenced him on 17 December to three years in prison and a fine of 50,000 DA.
There was a strong presence of radical Islamists in the court room to put the judiciary under pressure. No political party criticized the ruling.
Both Christians will appeal the decision.
More on religious freedom in Algeria in HRWF Database
(*) 1 Algerian Dinar – 0.0062 EUR