Algeria Upholds Conviction of Convert from Islam

Advertisement    Partners    Contacts

Christian Forum
INVICTORY.COM
Christian Resources, Websites, E-cards, Prayer, Video >>
Christian News Search

  News by Topics



      NEWS ARCHIVES  
Tour partner: Travel Directions

  Who is reading news now

  Christian News Ticker

AFRICA | PRESS

via sxc.hu
Algeria Upholds Conviction of Convert from Islam

An Algerian judge under pressure from Islamists to uphold a Christian's conviction for alleged proselytizing rescinded his one-year prison term today but doubled his fine, an attorney said, reports Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service.

Algeria is a country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast.

According to a story by Morning Star News, Mohamed Ibaouene, 36, was shocked to learn on Dec. 11 that he had been convicted in absentia on July 4, 2012 by a court in Tigzirt, sentenced to one year in prison and fined 50,000 dinars (US$635) on a charge of pressuring a Muslim to convert.

His attorney, Mohamed Benbelkacem, told Morning Star News that the appeals judge in Tindouf, in raising Ibaouene's fine to 100,000 dinars, must have realized there was no basis for the charge but was under pressure from Islamists to impose a sentence.

"The judge must have undergone some pressure to arrive at this sentence - that is the only explanation," Benbelkacem said.

He added, “That is why he had to choose to split off one of the two punishments; he could not decide for the punishment sought by the prosecutor, namely two years in prison followed by a 100,000-dinar fine, because it was unfair and unfounded. Unfortunately, we are faced with an act of injustice, and we intend to appeal.”

Morning Star News said Ibaouene was convicted of "inciting a Muslim with pressure to change his religion" under Algeria's controversial Law 06/03, which places restrictions on the religious practice of non-Muslims.

The decision on the appeal of his sentence was to be announced on Feb. 6, but the judge delayed the verdict until today without explanation.

Morning Star News said Ibaouene denies the charge, saying the a machine operator at the company where he worked as a manager, identified only as Abdelkrim M., was the one pressuring him to change his religion.

The 27-year-old machine operator, known to be an Islamic extremist, leveled the accusation only after Ibaouene, a convert from Islam, refused to renounce Christ, Ibaouene said.

According to Morning Star News, Ibaouene's attorney said the case provided a long-sought sentencing of a Christian under Law 03/06, with the case resolved quickly compared with delays in other such cases.

"He could not decide for acquittal because of the pressure, so it must be that the Algerian justice system finally found a scapegoat to finally be able to implement the effects of Law 03/06," Benbelkacem said.

Morning Star News said he added, “I am not satisfied with the verdict, and I am even disappointed and upset, because in this case there is no evidence to support the accusation against my client.”

The judge's verdict was short. “The accused, Mohamed Ibaouene, is condemned to pay a fine of 100,000 dinars,” thereby revoking the one-year prison sentence.

The president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), Mustapha Krim, told Morning Star News the ruling was an affront to freedom.

“Certainly we will appeal the ruling,” Krim said. “Moreover, we will meet soon in the EPA to discuss follow-up to this case. I must say that as long as Law 03/06 exists, there will always be those who will falsely accuse us as Christians.”

Morning Star News said Ibaouene, who was never contacted by police or other authorities prior to his conviction, said Abdelkrim M. had approached him at his office for the sole purpose of asking him if he was a Christian and trying to persuade him to convert back to Islam.

When Ibaouene refused to renounce Christ, Abdelkrim M. then asked him if he believed in Islam. Morning Star News said in spite of what Ibaouene had already told him, was astonished when the Christian told him he did not believe in it at all, but rather in God and Christ, Ibaouene says.

Abdelkrim M. then filed a complaint with the National Gendarmerie in Tindouf, accusing Ibaouene of pressuring him to renounce Islam, according to a copy of the judgment obtained by Morning Star News.

Authorities did not serve the judgment to Ibaouene sooner presumably because he had left Tindouf after marrying in June 2012 and they were not aware of his whereabouts, and because of slow administrative processes.

Morning Star News said Ibaouene is part of an undisclosed church in Tizi Ouzou, capital of Tizi Ouzou Province on Algeria's northern central coast.

Morning Star News said Law 03/2006, commonly known as Law 06/03, mandates a prison term of two to five years and a fine of 500,000 to 1 million dinars for anyone who “incites, constrains, or utilizes means of seduction tending to convert a Muslim to another religion, or using for this purpose the institutions of education, health, social, cultural, or educational institutions, or other establishment, or financial advantage; or (2) makes, stores or distributes printed documents or films or other audiovisual medium or means intended to undermine the faith of a Muslim.”

Algeria's population of 35.4 million people is more than 97 percent Muslim and .28 percent Christian, according to Operation World.

Morning Star News said the Algerian constitution makes Islam the state religion and requires the president to be Muslim. Algerian law also prohibits non-Muslims from gathering to pray except in areas approved by the state.

Do you need a prayer?

Your name and country (optional)



* All your prayer requests are sent anonymously to Manmin church willing to pray for your needs
New iPad POLL!

VOTE NOW! Will you buy new iPad?




TAGS: Algerian judge pressure Islamists Christian Muslim North Africa Mohamed Benbelkacem Protestant Church Mustapha Krim refused to renounce National Gendarmerie

[02/15/2013] Print Version

© Reprint is allowed unless source hyperlink is not deleted
[ christian news ]     [ HTML link ]     [ back ]

Media praise woman for asking doctors to kill her, donating organs

Microloans: Empower locals to enable Gospel growth

OTHER NEWS

PRESS

       BREAKING NEWS  
  Internet-conference    [ all ]
Brother Yun
Leader of house church in China
Serge Velbovets
Owner of the Christian Telegraph
Ad is provided by Google automatically

       PHOTOREPORT  

       AUDIO & VIDEO  

       HOT ISSUE  

       QUOTE OF THE DAY  
John Noronha, PhD candidate in bioethics at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum


Copyright © 1999-2014 CHRISTIAN TELEGRAPH. We are not responsible for the content on other sites we refer (if you want to research just visit those sites).
The use in whole or in part of this site content must clearly state as having come from "Christian Telegraph" with hyperlink, not Telegraph nor Christian News etc.

eXTReMe Tracker
The Baptist Top 1000 Christian.com
Social Network
CFS Top Christian Sites Fundamental Christian Topsites LIVE GOD NETWORK