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Amnesty: Over 1,000 people on death row by end of 2021 in Algeria

Algerians hold signs with portraits of activists held in jail, during an anti-government demonstration in the capital Algiers on May 7, 2021 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]
Algerians hold signs with portraits of activists held in jail, during an anti-government demonstration in the capital Algiers on May 7, 2021 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]

Amnesty International said there were at least 1,000 people on death row in Algeria by the end of 2021, noting that the state does not apply the death penalty in practice.

In its annual global report on death sentences and executions, the rights watchdog said although Algeria does not apply the death penalty in practice, there are at least 1,000 people who were sentenced to death.

The report explained that no death row inmate has been executed since 1993 where death sentences are often commuted to life imprisonment after the detainees spend a few years in prison.

The organisation added that it recorded at least nine death sentences in Algeria in 2021, compared to one in 2020, and that it had recorded a downward trend in death sentences since 2015.

READ: Calls to investigate the death of a political activist in prison

Amnesty's Algeria Director Hassina Oussedik said: "Today, we deeply regret the increase in the number of death sentences in 2021, in contrast to the decline in this unnecessary, unjust and cruel punishment in Algeria."

She added that having once again missed the opportunity to abolish the death penalty during the last constitutional amendment in November 2020, "we call on the Algerian authorities to take a consistent position at the national and international levels, by taking the last step towards the abolition of the death penalty in Algeria."

"We will continue to mobilise to make Algeria the first country in the region to abolish this cruel and inhuman punishment," she added.

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AfricaAlgeriaAmnesty InternationalInternational OrganisationsNews
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