A criminal court handed down a suspended prison sentence to four young Algerian Christian converts for "illegally practising a non-Muslim religion."
Four young Algerian converts to Christianity were sentenced Tuesday to suspended prison terms for "illegally practising a non-Muslim religion," their lawyer said.
The sentences were handed down by a criminal tribunal in Tiaret, in the southwest of predominantly Muslim Algeria, which dismissed charges against two other accused.
The lawyer, Khelloudja Khalfoun, told AFP that one of the converts was given a six-month suspended sentence plus a fine equivalent to around 2,000 euros (3,100 dollars).
The other three were each given two-month suspended sentences and fined around 1,000 euros, she said, adding that she would be lodging an appeal.
They six had been prosecuted under a controversial law passed in February 2006 that requires non-Muslim congregations in Algeria to seek permits from regional authorities.
Date created : 2008-06-03