6 Libyans face the death penalty for converting

Activists are warning that six Libyans are facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity, which is against the law in the country. The women and men, some from minority ethnic groups, including the Amazigh in the west of the country, were detained in March by security forces.

The group has been charged under article 207 of the penal code, which punishes any attempt to alter fundamental constitutional principles, or the fundamental structures of the social order, or overthrow the state, and anyone who possesses books, leaflets, drawings, slogans or any other items that promote their cause.

Libyan legislation is largely based on religion and non-Muslims are guaranteed the freedom to practice their faith, but the country’s constitution has been suspended due to continuing political fighting.

The use of article 207 has increased against civil society activists and international organizations over the last year, say campaigners.