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Published on July 1st, 2008 | by Impunity Watch Archive

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Dubai Prison Director and Staff Jailed for Beatings; Algerian Christians Jailed for Spreading Faith; Top Iraqi Judge Assassinated

By Ben Turner
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Twenty-five UAE prison officers, including a former prison director, were given jail sentences after being convicted of their involvement in prison beatings.  The former director and six others were jailed for six months while the other 18 officers were jailed for three.

The incident happened in 2007 in Dubai during a search for drugs.  The defendants were all accused of “abuse of power and ill-treatment of detainees under their guard.”

According to attacked prisoners, the officers formed two lines outside the cell door and ordered the inmates to come out.  As they walked through the two lines, the officers beat and kicked them.  One man suffered spinal injuries.

For more information, please see:

BBC – Dubai Jailers Jailed for Beatings – 30 June 30 2008

Khaleej Times – Prisoner Assault Case Verdict on June 29 – 16 June 2008

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ALGIERS, Algeria – Two Algerian men who converted from Islam to Christianity were arrested and charged with illegally promoting Christianity in Algeria.  The two men, Rachid Mohammed Seghir, 40, and Jammal Dahmani, 36, were charged with praying in a building that had not been granted a religious permit by authorities and of trying to spread the Christian faith among Muslims.

The two men were already convicted in absentia for illegal practice of a non-Muslim religion in 2007 but requested, and were granted, a new trial.

Algeria’s constitution allows religious freedom but a 2006 law narrowed how non-Islam religions can be practiced.  The law forbids anyone from attempting to convert a Muslim to another faith with penalties as high as five years in prison and a $15,570 fine.  The law is viewed as a response to a recent rise in the membership of Protestant faiths in Algeria.

Both Seghir and Dahmani are evangelical Christians.

For more information, please see:
Associated Press – Christians on Trial in Algeria for Spreading Faith – 25 June 2008

International Herald Tribune – Converts on Trial in Algeria for Spreading Christian Faith – 25 June 2008

AFP – Algeria Court to Rule Next Week in Trial of Christian Converts – 25 June 2008

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BAGHDAD, Iraq – Kamel al-Shewaili, a leading judge in Iraq, was ambushed and assassinated as he was driving in eastern Baghdad on June 25.  Al-Shewaili was the head of one of Baghdad’s two appeals courts and was in charge of handling criminal cases for eastern Baghdad.

Masked assailants blocked the judge’s car with two vehicles and then opened fire on his car. In January, gunmen killed Appeals Court Judge Amir Jawdat Naeib as he was drove to work.  Both judges were members of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council which supervises the judiciary and nominates senior judicial officials.

Iraqi professionals, such as judges, doctors and lawyers have often been targeted in the sectarian fighting in Baghdad.

For more information, please see:
BBC – Top Judge Assassinated in Baghdad – 27 June 2008

CNN – Iraq Judge Gunned Down – 27 June 2008

Reuters – Gunmen Kill Leading Iraqi Judge in Ambush – 27 June 2008

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