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03/26/2021 Algeria (International Christian Concern) –  Algerian Christian Hamid Soudad had his five-year prison sentence upheld during his appeal case on March 22. Courts convicted him of sharing a cartoon of Islam’s prophet on Facebook in 2018.

Hamid’s attorney Farid Khemisti speculates that he received the maximum sentence because he is a Christian. According to Khemisti, both the judge and prosecutor were shaken after he suggested to them the suspected rationale for Hamid’s punishment. Courts also upheld his fine of approximately $750 USD.

After the original incident, Hamid was accused by a previous work associate who was an Islamic extremist. It was through him that the complaint case was filed in December 2020. Hamid was not aware of any ongoing incident until January 20, 2021 when authorities came to his house. The next day he was sentenced to prison without forewarning.

Pastor Rachid and Nouh Hamimi experienced similar convictions, having received their sentences in absentia on February 27, 2021. Pastor Rachid and Nouh received two-year prison sentences and heavy fines for an incident occurring in 2017. Police raided their bookstore and found Christian literature and accused them of proselytizing. Their appeal cases will be heard on April 18.

For interviews, please contact Alison Garcia: [email protected].