Dhiyaa ad-Din Ahmed Muftah Bala’ou, who converted to Christianity four years ago, has been sentenced to death by the Misrata Court of Appeal (West) for apostasy.
Arrested on several occasions by armed militias, the young man was sentenced for apostasy, even though there is no such law in the country. Those who choose to convert are, however, tried for treason, according to a law enacted by the General National Congress which states that “an apostate from Islam shall be executed if he does not recant.”
According to the Misrata Court of Appeal, Dhiyaa ad-Din Ahmed Muftah Bala'ou, who was not represented by a lawyer according to local media, refused to “reverse his decision to convert to another religion.”
It is worth noting that in 2021, the US State Department published a report on international religious freedom which revealed that the freedom of conscience of converts to Christianity, atheists, and Muslims who deviated from Salafist interpretations of Islam was not respected in Libya.