The Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) has condemned the Government’s crackdown on the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority. Referring to the arrests of the Algerian Ahmadis, the LADDH called it an unacceptable infringement of the freedoms of worship, The organization also called for the release of Ahmadi prisoners of conscience.
In a statement, the LADDH office in M’sila urged the Algerian Government to respect the international conventions ratified by Algeria, “in particular, those concerning respect for human rights.” LADDH also asked the Minister of Justice to apply the constitution in the correct way.
On March 27th, 2017, the Judicial Council of Batna, the fifth largest city in Algeria issued a verdict against six Ahmadis, the tribunal accused them of:
- Practicing religious rites in inappropriate places.
- Unauthorized fundraising.
- Activism in an unlicensed association.
- Holding and distributing publications from foreign sources that may be detrimental to the national interest.
The court also announced prison sentences and fined them 300000 DZD (2770 USD) each.
- (A.H) 44 years old, suspended from his job: 4 years imprisonment, a 300000 DZD (2770 USD) fine, and confiscation of books, a laptop, and a central unit.
- (B.B) 47 years old: 4 years imprisonment, a 300000 DZD (2770 USD) fine and confiscation of books.
- (B.A) 46 years old: 4 years imprisonment, a 300000 DZD (2770 USD) fine and confiscation of books.
- (M.MS) 49 years old: 4 years imprisonment, a 300000 DZD (2770 USD) fine and confiscation of books.
- (M.D) 28 years old: 4 years imprisonment, a 300000 DZD (2770 USD) fine and confiscation of books.
- (B.H) 34 years: 2 years imprisonment and a 300000 DZD fine.
The Ahmadis appealed the verdict given by the court and the Judicial Council of Batna will once again hear examine the case on June 21st, 2017.
Talking to Rabwah Times, Amroune Layachi of LADDH said that on June 6th he visited the city of Batna where he met two of the Ahmadis who had been convicted by the court. Layachi said:
They seemed disappointed and frustrated. They expressed bitterly their shock at the judgment issued against them, which they described as unfair. For Ahmadis, the situation is becoming worse day by day and the actions against them are only being taken to please the Islamists and the political parties.
The case dates back to January 10th, 2017, when these Ahmadis woke up and found their homes surrounded by the gendarmerie patrols, by order of the public prosecutor to search their homes. Books and computers were seized.
Afterward, the defendants were taken to the brigade headquarters, where they were interrogated and charged. After hearing them, the investigating judge held the four counts against them. On March 20th, they were summoned before the trial court of Ain-Touta which delivered the aforementioned judgment.