Webinar date and time: 14 October 2022, 15:00 Geneva time, 14:00 Algiers time, 09:00 Washington D.C. time
As Algeria undergoes the Universal Periodic Review on 11 November 2022 before the UN Human Rights Council, we will highlight challenges to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and provide recommendations for the Algerian Government to increase access to this right more broadly for its citizens.
While religious minorities — including Ahmadis, Christians, Ibadi Muslims, Jews, and Shia Muslims — constitute just one percent of the Algerian population, government restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief can affect all Algerians. Members of religious minority communities as well as secular Muslims, atheists, or Sunni Muslims with diverse perspectives risk criminal convictions, imprisonment, and hefty fines for holding and expressing their religious beliefs.
The Algerian Government has passed laws and issued decrees restricting or criminalizing common religious practices, including speaking publicly about one’s religious beliefs, sharing diverse or dissenting views and opinions, and collecting donations for the administration and support of a religious community. Legislation like Law 06-03 of 2006 on “Governing the Practice of Religions other than Islam” and the 2012 Law on Associations are used to regulate and repress associations and communal religious practices for minority religious communities, most notable among the Protestant Christian and Ahmadiyya communities.
The event will address historic and contemporary trends and challenges in respect for Freedom of Religion or Belief and associated rights in Algeria and present recommendations towards the fulfillment of the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in view of the November 2022 Universal Periodic Review of Algeria at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Pastor Salah Chalah, President, Protestant Church of Algeria.
Mr. Amjad Mahmood Khan, National Secretary for Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA
Ms. Lena Abboud, Senior Manager for Research & Policy, Middle East Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute
Moderated by Mr. Wissam al-Saliby, Director, Geneva Office of the World Evangelical Alliance.