Algerian Activist Jailed Over Meme Insulting President, Principles of Islam

Published January 11th, 2021 - 07:19 GMT
Activists across social media have announced support for Walid Kechida defending his work as a freedom of speech. (Twitter)
Activists across social media have announced support for Walid Kechida defending his work as a freedom of speech. (Twitter)
Highlights
Walid Kechida creator of "Hirak Memes" Facebook page was sentenced for 3 years by the Algerian court.

Walid Kechida, an Algerian Activist, has been jailed after creating a meme which was considered insulting to the president, and principles of Islam.

Kechida has been behind creating "Hirak Memes" Facebook page, in which he wanted to spread awareness and show the real meaning of the freedom of speech in the North African country. 

Algeian court has sentenced the Hirak supporter to 3 years after he was arrested in the city of Sétif. The 25-year-old man was denounced for creating a meme described as insulting of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and "offending the precepts" of Islam, accoring to Kaci Tansaout, from the CNLD prisoners' rights group.

Translation:"(R) God please make our president one of the missionaries of heaven, (L) wait I will talk to Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq for that."

Activists across social media have announced support for Walid Kechida defending his work as a freedom of speech and calling the Algerian authorities to set him free and stop restricting citizens' right to express their opinions. 

On the other hand, plenty of angry people have urged the Algerian government to even jail Walid for life over his insulting memes against the principles of Islam and the president.

Translations: “The man made fun of the religion, may he stay in prison for a life term.”

Translations: “Great news, whoever breaks our religious rules, should stay in jail forever.”

Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time Algeria is accused of curbing the freedom of speech. Last year, Karim Tabbou, was sentenced to one year and fined around $450 over charges related to "incitement to violence" and "harming national unity"after he shared videos on his political Facebook page. 

Since then, Algeria has blocked almost all the online news websites that covered the anti-government "Hirak" protest movement in a move, which was denounced by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.


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