A judge’s decision this month to indefinitely postpone the appeal of a Christian sentenced under Algeria’s defamation and anti-proselytizing laws shows how the judicial system keeps Christians in limbo without officially punishing or acquitting them, according to sources.
Another Christian, a minor, was released and placed on probation following Saturday’s raid in a village near the town of Bougous in north-eastern El Tarf province bordering Tunisia.
In Oran, 470 kilometers (292 miles) west of Algiers, a criminal court in the city’s Djamel district on Wednesday (May 25) sentenced Siaghi Krimo to a prison term of five years for giving a CD about Christianity to a neighbor who subsequently claimed he had insulted Muhammad. Krimo was also fined 200,000 Algerian dinars (US$2,760), according to Algerian news reports.
According to the governor’s statement, if the churches do not comply, authorities may use force. The leaders of the churches in Bejaia have decided to conduct church services this weekend as scheduled and “see what happens.”
The verdict was the latest in a series of cases targeting converted Christians in the country.
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