07 September 2016

Algerian man jailed for Facebook posts 'insulting Islam

Algerian authorities have sentenced a man to three years in prison for Facebook posts “insulting Islam”.

Human Rights Watch [HRW] condemned the conviction, urging Algerian prosecutors to stop bringing charges against people over "peaceful expressions" of religious, political or other views.

Slimane Bouhafs, a Christian convert, was arrested after sharing Facebook posts which included “a caricature representing the Prophet Mohammad as a terrorist” and other posts “slandering Islam as a religion of intolerance and hatred”, according to court papers.

“Algerian courts have no business judging people’s religious beliefs and opinions,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.

“Algeria should urgently revise its penal code to stop criminalising peaceful free expression, including views that may insult Islam and the prophet,” she said. [The New Arab] Read more