Algeria
© RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images
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Overview

Security forces responded to the mass Hirak protest movement by using unnecessary or excessive force to disperse some demonstrations, arbitrarily arresting hundreds of protesters, prosecuting and sentencing dozens to prison terms using Penal Code provisions such as “harming national security” and “inciting unarmed gatherings”. Authorities prohibited the activities of several associations, often in relation to the Hirak protests. Security forces tortured and otherwise ill-treated activists, particularly by beating them. Authorities ordered the closure of nine Christian churches. Security forces arrested and detained thousands of sub-Saharan migrants, forcibly transferring some to the far south of Algeria and expelling others to other countries, allegedly without following due process in many cases. Women’s rights groups were active in the Hirak movement, demanding an end to all forms of gender-based violence and the repeal of the Family Code, which discriminates against women in matters of inheritance, marriage, divorce, child custody and guardianship. Same-sex sexual relations continued to be criminalized. The right to form trade unions was unduly restricted. Death sentences were handed down; there were no executions.

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Death penalty status

Abolitionist in practice

Retains the death penalty in law, but hasn’t executed for at least 10 years

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Sara Hashash and Mohammed Abunajela

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