Algeria: Christian jailed for five years for posting Facebook cartoon of Muhammad

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A Christian father of four has been sentenced to five years imprisonment in Algeria for allowing a cartoon of Muhammad on his social media account in 2017, International Christian Concern reports.

Known as Hamid, the 43-year-old was arrested and taken into custody on 20 January, and sentenced the next day, ICC said. Hamid’s crime is that he permitted a cartoon of Muhammad to be shared to his Facebook page three years ago. He was sentenced pursuant to being charged under Article 144 of the penal code for insulting Muhammad, ICC said.

“Brother Hamid was naive in accepting this cartoon on his Facebook account. That this story goes back three years and only now it’s resurfacing – it’s hard to digest,” a local pastor told ICC.
Nevertheless, Hamid’s attorney hopes the sentence will be reduced – as has happened in similar recent cases in the North African country, ICC said.

In 2017, a Christian who shared a Facebook cartoon that was deemed insulting to Islam had his sentence reduced from five years to one. In 2016, a Christian charged with insulting Islam in a Facebook post had his sentence reduced to three years. Both Christians had been charged under Article 144.

Algeria’s Article 144 has been widely condemned internationally for violating international law, ICC said.