We are thrilled to report that Slimane Bouhafs has been released from prison after serving 18 months for blasphemy. Slimane was arrested in July 2016 for sharing a message on Facebook which was ruled to be an insult to Islam. For further information, click here.
Slimane was originally sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison. However, in September 2016, the time of his incarceration was reduced to three years, and then further reduced in July 2017 through a partial presidential pardon.
While in prison, Slimane suffered beatings from fellow prisoners, resulting in serious health issues. Due to the health concerns, his family asked for parole or that he be transferred to a prison closer to home. Both of those requests were rejected. Finally, while travelling to visit Slimane in prison on April 1st, his wife and daughter received a call notifying them that he was officially released!
Both Slimane and his daughter have expressed deep appreciation for the many encouraging letters of support the family has received from around the world. VOM Canada's Director for North Africa and the Middle East gives this response: "We praise God that our (Christian) brother is released. The timing is perfect, as it brings encouragement to the local church and to his family." Thank you for continuing to uphold Slimane in prayer as he makes this transition...for his ongoing protection, healing and restoration.