According to media reports, Algerian Government has continued to crackdown on members of the Ahmadi Muslims in the country. The Ahmadiyya Community in the country has expressed concern over the religiously motivated arrests.
From June 2016, onwards, the authorities in Algeria targeted members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, arresting at least 70 in Blida and Skikda provinces and other parts of the country on account of their faith. Mass arrests of Ahmadis seem to have commenced in early 2016, but took a more intense turn in July 2016 when Algerian authorities commenced a “dismantling procedure” of the group’s offices in Blida. According to some sources this resulted in the arrest of hundreds of people.
Algerian newspaper EnNahar revealed that the crackdown against the Ahmadis in Algeria started in the first week of June, the investigation was spread over three states and during the course of the investigation the security forces raided the Ahmadiyya headquarters in the state of Blida. During the month-long crackdown dozens of Ahmadis were arrested and charged with violating social peace, and the under-construction community centre in the state of Blida was also demolished by the local Municipality.
On November, 20 Ahmadis were sentenced to prison in Skikda, and the following month 33 individuals were arrested in Sétif. Media reports indicate, on Friday, November 25th Algerian security forces raided a house in the coastal town of Béni Saf and arrested six Ahmadis while they were performing Friday Prayer. In late February, there were reports of arrests of National President and the General Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Community in Algeria. On 2 March the High Islamic Council of Algeria issued a Fatwa calling for an end to “Ahmadi activities,” and on 13 March another 15 Ahmadis were arrested in Bejaïa.
Media reports indicate, Ahmadis in Algeria have experienced a number of social problems, including expulsion from work, social boycotts and breaking up of families. The religious clergy have issued edicts against Ahmadis and in some cases ordered the wives of Ahmadis to separate from their husbands or vice versa. By way of example this has been seen in the Ain Sefra and Ghardaya cities.
We urge the international community to take note of the worsening situation of Ahmadis in Algeria and to intervene to put an end to this persecution. We also urge the Government of Algeria to free the Ahmadis who have been imprisoned and to stop this current state of harassment and persecution of Ahmadis.