Argélia anda para trás - Backwards Algeria
Algiers, 23 March (AKI) - The Algerian parliament has approved a law punishing anyone trying to convert a Muslim to other religions with up to five years in jail. The law, which was drafted by the government, states that anyone "attempting to call on a Muslim to embrace another religion" can be sentenced from two to five years in jail or is liable to pay a fine of up to 10,000 euros.
The government has said the law is aimed at banning clandestine organisations it claims are secretly trying to convert Muslims. However, press reports have said the cabinet is attempting to win over Muslim radicals ahead for a general election next year.
The cabinet announced earlier this month that it was freeing over 2,000 Islamic militants under a national amnesty aimed at promoting national reconciliation - the most significant more than a decade after the outbreak of civil war in the 1990s.