ORAN, Algeria — A judge has upheld the five-year prison sentence of a Christian man convicted of reposting on Facebook a cartoon of Islam’s prophet.
Also upheld was the fine of 100,000 dinars ($750) against Hamid (surname withheld for protection). His attorney, Farid Khemisti, argued Hamid had not created the cartoon, only reposted it.
Khemisti believes Hamid received the heavy penalty because he is a Christian.
In other matters:
- Activist Yacine Mebarki, accused of insulting Islam, was sentenced to 10 years. On Nov. 25, 2020, the sentence was reduced to one year.
- Charged with blaspheming Islam, two Christians from Muslim backgrounds were sentenced to prison — one for six months, the other for three years.
- Houses of worship, except Protestant churches, were allowed to reopen in February from pandemic closures.
Islam is the state religion in Algeria, and thousands of Muslims have become Christians since 2000.
Algeria is No. 24 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult for Christians.