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UA 174/93 - Algeria: death penalty: 41 people sentenced to death: Abderrahim Hocine, Rachid Hechaichi, Karim Fennour, Jamal Chikou, Belkacem Tahri, Jamal Laskri, Mabrouk Bakour, Ahmed Dahmoun, Meliani Mansouri, Youcef Boulesbaa, Redha Boucherif, Said Sous

, Index number: MDE 28/008/1993

On 26 May 1993 41 people were sentenced to death by the special court in Algiers in two separate trials, in connection with terrorist attacks, including the bombing of Algiers airport on 26 August 1992 and the planting of a bomb in the television station in June 1992. Following the airport bombing six people were arrested and their confessions shown on Algerian television. There were allegations that the confessions had been extracted under torture. The men have no right of appeal, but may seek a review by "cassation" by the Supreme Court. However "cassation" rules only on procedures and does not reexamine facts, thus failing to safeguard the detainees' right of appeal.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 28/08/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 174/93 Death Penalty 27 May 1993
ALGERIA: 41 people sentenced to death:
Abderrahim Hocine
Rachid Hechaichi
Karim Fennour
Jamal Chikou
Belkacem Tahri
Jamal Laskri
Mabrouk Bakour
Ahmed Dahmoun
Meliani Mansouri
Youcef Boulesbaa
Redha Boucherif
Said Soussan (sentenced to death twice)
Mohamed Aimet (sentenced to death twice)
and 28 in absentia
Amnesty International is gravely concerned that 41 people were sentenced to death
on 26 May 1993 by the special court in Algiers in two separate trials. Thirty-eight
of those sentenced to death (26 in absentia) were accused of participating in the
bombing of Algiers airport on 26 August 1992, in which nine people died and over
120 were injured. Said Soussan and Mohamed Aimet, who were among the 38 sentenced
to death in the first trial, and three others (two in absentia) were accused of
terrorist attacks, including planting a bomb in the television station in June 1992.
Following the bombing of the airport, six individuals were arrested and the confessions
of some of them were shown on Algerian television. There were allegations that the
confessions had been extracted under torture.
These individuals have no right of appeal, but may seek a review by "cassation" by
the Supreme Court; if successful the case will be retried by another special court.
Cassation rules only on procedures, and does not reexamine facts, thus failing to
safeguard the detainees' right of appeal.
Once the 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 President and
refused.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Sixty-six death sentences have been passed since February 1993 by the three Special
Courts set up by a decree of October 1992 which provides for accelerated and secret
justice for those accused of "terrorist" offences, doubling the sentences for such
offences. The law is retroactive, inasmuch as any case under instruction or awaiting
judgment can be transferred to the Special Courts and thus be subjected to increased
penalties which did not apply at the time of the offence. Both these cases were
transferred to the jurisdiction of the Special Courts.
The first executions known to have been carried out in Algeria since 1989 took place
on 11 January 1992, and the number of those now on death row is well over 200.
Amnesty International does not condone acts of violence and recognizes the right
of governments to bring to justice those responsible for such acts, 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.
Page 2 of UA 174/93
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in French, Arabic, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that 41 people were sentenced to death, two of them twice, by
the Special Court on 26 May 1993;
- urging President Ali Kefi to commute these death sentences if they are upheld by
the Supreme Court;
- urging that all outstanding death sentences be immediately commuted, and that steps
be taken towards abolishing the death penalty in Algeria;
- stating that whilst Amnesty International does not condone acts of violence and
recognizes the right of governments to bring to justice those responsible for such
acts, 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.
APPEALS TO
1) President:
Président M. Ali KEFI Salutation: Excellence / Your Excellency
Président de la République
Présidence de la République
El-Mouradia, Alger, Algérie
Telegrams: President Kefi, Alger, Algerie
Faxes: + 213 2 609618
Telexes: 66044/66088
2) High Council of State Member:
M. Ali HAROUN Salutation: Excellence / Your Excellency
Membre du Haut Comité d'Etat
Palais du Gouvernement
Alger, Algérie
Telegrams: M. Ali Haroun, Palai du Gouvernement, Alger, Algerie
Telexes: 66217/66221/66044/66088
3) High Council State Member and Minister of Defence:
M. Khaled NEZZAR
Membre du Haut Comité d'Etat Salutation: Excellence / Your Excellency
et Ministre de la Défence
Ministère de la Défence
Alger, Algérie
Telegrams: M. Khaled Nezzar, Ministere de la Defence, Alger, Algerie
4) Minister of Justice:
M. Mohamed Téguia Salutation: Excellence / Your Excellency
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
8 rue de Khartoum
El-Biar, Alger, Algérie
Telegrams: M. Mohamed Teguia, Ministere de la Justice, Alger, Algerie
Faxes: + 213 2 605161
Telexes: 66241/66178/66243
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights Organizations:
1) Observatoire national
des droits de l'homme
Palais du Peuple
Avenue F. Roosevelt
Alger, Algérie
Faxes: + 213 2 60 10 42
2) Ligue algérienne des
droits de l'homme:
40-42 rue Larbi ben M'Hidi
Alger, Algérie
3) Ligue algérienne pour
la défense des droits de
l'homme
19 rue Abane Ramdane
Alger, Algérie
and 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 8 July 1993.

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