Urgent Action Victory! Religious Minority Leader Released But Still At Risk (Algeria: UA 205.17)

On 13 September the Court of First Instance in Ain Tedles, Algeria convicted and sentenced President of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Mohamed Fali to a 6 month suspended prison term and a fine of 20,000 Algerian dinar. He was released from pre-trial detention on 13 September but remains at risk of further prosecution.

President of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Mohamed Fali was arrested at his home in Ain Sefra, Western Algeria, on 28 August by police in order to be retried on 6 September for “collecting donations without a licence” (under Article 11 paragraph 2 of Decree 06-03 setting the rules and conditions for the exercise of non-Muslim faiths) and “denigrating Islamic dogma” (under Article 144 bis 2 of the Algerian Penal Code). Both charges stem from the peaceful exercise of his religion.

Mohamed Fali was sentenced in absentia by the Court of First Instance in Ain Tedles, Mostaganem province, to three years in prison and a fine of 50,000 Algerian dinars (about 450 USD) on 15 February. Algerian law allows individuals who are convicted in their absence to oppose the judgement and have a retrial in their presence.

On 13 September, seven days after his retrial, the Ain Tedles Court of First Instance convicted and sentenced Mohamed Fali to a six-month suspended prison term and a 20,000 Algerian (180 USD) dinar fine.

Mohamed Fali was held for two weeks in Mostaganem Prison, in the north west of Algeria, and, according to his lawyer, throughout his detention was denied both the medication to treat his diabetes and the device to monitor his blood sugar. As a result he had to rely on his family to supply his treatment.
Mohamed Fali is among hundreds of Ahmadis facing prosecution in Algeria. He is still at risk of imprisonment on outstanding charges arising from the peaceful practice of his faith before courts in other parts of Algeria.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the case and take further action as appropriate.