Tags: algerian christians tried ramadan fast

Algeria Tries Two Christians For Breaking Fast

Wednesday, 22 Sep 2010 09:17 AM

Two Algerian Christians were tried on Tuesday for breaking Ramadan fasting rules, with hundreds of people protesting outside the courtroom against judicial authorities.

Hocine Hocini and Salem Fellak were arrested on August 13 on the building site where they worked in the northern region of Kabylie after they were spotted eating lunch, which they admit to doing but insist happened in a discreet place.

Muslims are not allowed to eat during daylight hours during the Ramadan holy month, and in Algeria breaking the fast can be punished with three months in jail.

"I am optimistic," Hocini, who is a Protestant, told AFP as he left the courtroom in Ain el Hammam after the hearing.

The verdict is due on October 5.

"We are innocent, and we haven't done any harm to anyone," he said. "We are Christians and we have not eaten in a public place," he said.

Hundreds of people supporting the two accused gathered outside the court and shouted slogans against the judiciary.

"Algeria has ratified international conventions on freedom of religion. This is a violation pure and simple of the constitution," said defense lawyer Mokrane Ait Larbi.

The Muslim majority north African country has a small Christian population.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved


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Two Algerian Christians were tried on Tuesday for breaking Ramadan fasting rules, with hundreds of people protesting outside the courtroom against judicial authorities.
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2010-17-22
 
 

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