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Algeria: Death penalty / legal concern: Lembarek Boumaarafi

, Index number: MDE 28/003/1995

Lembarek Boumaarafi, accused of having killed Algerian President Boudiaf in 1992, was sentenced to death by the Algiers Criminal Court on 3 June 1995. There is concern that his trial was unfair. Lembarek Boumaarafi does not have full right of appeal, but may seek a review by cassation by Supreme Court. Cassation rules on procedures only and does not reexamine facts, thus failing to safeguard the accused's right of appeal. AI opposes the death penalty unconditionally and is calling for the sentence to be commuted.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 28/03/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 126/95 Death Penalty / Legal concern 5 June 1995
ALGERIA Lembarek BOUMAÂRAFI
Lembarek Boumaârafi, accused of having killed the Algerian President Mohamed
Boudiaf in 1992, was sentenced to death by the Algiers Criminal Court on 3
June 1995.
Arrested a few hours after President Boudiaf was shot dead at a public meeting
on 29 June 1992, sub-lieutenant Boumaârafi, who had been assigned to the
presidential security corps for that meeting, was charged with sole
responsibility for the killing. His trial, which began on 16 May 1995,
reportedly violated international standards for fair trial. His request to
appoint defence lawyers of his own choosing was allegedly rejected by the
president of the court; the state-appointed defence lawyers and lawyers acting
for the family of President Boudiaf did not have access to all the material
in the investigation dossier, and the court reportedly refused to call some
of the witnesses requested by the defence.
Lembarek Boumaârafi does not have full right of appeal, but may seek a review
by cassation by the Supreme Court. Cassation rules only on procedures and
does not reexamine facts, thus failing to safeguard the accused's right of
appeal. Once death sentences have been upheld by the Supreme Court, executions
may not be carried out until a plea for clemency has been presented to the
state President and refused.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Although judicial executions in Algeria have been suspended since November
1993, it is feared that they could be resumed at any time.
Amnesty International recognizes the right of governments to bring to justice
those responsible for killings and other acts of violence, but the organization
unconditionally opposes the death penalty in all cases as the ultimate form
of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation of the right to
life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in French, Arabic, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Lembarek Boumaârafi has been sentenced to death,
and that his trial was not conducted in full accordance with international
standards for fair trial;
- urging President Lamine Zéroual to commute his death sentence when the clemency
plea is presented to him;
- stating that whilst Amnesty International recognizes the right of governments
to bring to justice those responsible for killings and other acts of violence,
the organization unconditionally opposes the death penalty in all cases as
the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation
of the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- urging the authorities to take steps to ensure that judicial executions are
not resumed.
APPEALS TO
President
2
M. Lamine ZEROUAL
Président de l'Etat
Présidence de la République
El Mouradia
Alger, Algérie
Telegrams: Président Zéroual, Alger, Algérie
Telexes: 66044/66088
Faxes: + 213 2 60 96 18 (if voice, ask "fax, s'il vous plaît")
Salutation: Monsieur le Président/Dear President
Minister of Justice
M. Mohamed ADAMI
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
8 Place Bir Hakem
El-Biar
Alger, Algérie
Telegrams: Ministre Adami, Alger, Algérie
Telexes: 61498
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS
to diplomatic representatives of ALGERIA accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 July 1995.

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