Christian's Five-Year Prison Sentence for Facebook Post Upheld in Algeria
Christian Headlines - TIZI-OUZOU, Algeria, March 23, 2021 (Morning Star News) – A judge in Oran, Algeria on Monday (March 22) upheld a five-year prison sentence for a Christian convicted of reposting a cartoon of Islam’s prophet on his Facebook account three years ago, sources said.
Farid Khemisti, attorney for Hamid (surname withheld for security reasons), said the 43-year-old father of four young children appeared to have received the heavy sentence because he was a Christian. The Oran City Court of Justice also upheld his fine of 100,000 dinars (US$750).
“I really hoped for a reduction in the sentence – I expected at the worst, six months in prison,” Khemisti told Morning Star News. “That is the maximum that a fair judgment would have given, but I don’t think my client’s being a Christian made it any easier.”
Khemisti said the judge and prosecutor were visibly upset when he suggested to them that they were handing down a heavy sentence because Hamid was a Christian.
“I said to them, ‘If it’s because my client is a Christian that you condemn him so heavily, say it honestly,’” Khemisti told Morning Star News. “Of course, they didn’t like it; their faces changed color as I told them that.”
He noted that Hamid was not the creator of the cartoon that he had received and reposted in 2018.
“I pleaded for his release, because it is clear that my client does not deserve such a heavy sanction – he is not the source of this post,” Khemisti said. “The author of the publication in question is abroad. The investigating security services....READ MORE
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