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Algeria considers death penalty for child abductors

Algerian policemen in Algiers, Algeria, on 26 February 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]
Algerian policemen in Algiers, Algeria, on 26 February 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

Algeria hinted at the resumption of the death penalty to deter the perpetrators of some crimes, 25 years after stopping capital punishment.

Minister of Justice Belkacem Zaghmati said yesterday discussions were underway regarding a draft law to combat crimes of child abduction, according to the statement of the National People's Assembly (First Chamber of Parliament).

Zaghmati said: "We can resume the death penalty [as stipulated by law]. Do not be surprised if this punishment is applied in the future if necessary," adding that there is a discussion at the national and international levels between supporters and abolishers.

The minister continued: "Algeria is a sovereign state and it is free to apply the death penalty. There is no local or global objection to that," in reference to pressure exerted by international human rights organisations to abolish capital punishment.

"Algeria has not signed or ratified any international agreement that prohibits the use of the death penalty. If necessary, the death penalty will be resumed," the minister continued.

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This comes after Algeria witnessed an increase in incidents of kidnapping and killing of children and female minors, prompting the authorities to enact new legislation to deter the perpetrators of these crimes.

Algeria suspended the death penalty in 1993 due to local and international accusations that the authorities were using executions to take revenge on opponents.

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