Algerian Christian sentenced to prison and heavy fine
On the 8th of July, a judge in Algeria sentenced a Christian to six months in prison and fine of 100,000 dinars (US$740) for allegedly accepting unauthorised donations to spread Christianity.
Ahmed Beghal (name changed for security reasons) received the sentence at a court hearing in Khemis Meliana, in Ain-Defla Province, about 145 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Algiers. He denies the charge and says related allegations – distributing Bibles, printing and distributing Christian literature and thus “shaking the faith of a Muslim” – are also all false.
“Accusations were brought against me by the National Gendarmerie to the court in a false and forged report,” Beghal told Morning Star News, adding that he has suffered emotionally “because of this injustice and pitfalls on the part of my family, society, court and security.”
“I am going through a very difficult stage through these difficult circumstances, and direct public persecution,” Beghal said. “There is injustice towards me in my personal and social life.”
He said his lawyer, Maitre Kebatti, did not appear at court for the sentencing nor at a later hearing. Beghal said he was forced to sign Gendarmerie report without reading it, and that the charges were based on this report.