EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 28/05/93
27 January 1993
Further information on UA 146/92 (MDE 28/02/92, 7 May 1992) - Death Penalty
ALGERIA:Aissa Messaoudi (also known as Tayeb El Afghani)
Ahmed Osman (note corrected name)
Antar Tera (note corrected name)
Lamine Athmania (note corrected name)
Jamal Bou Djelkha
Abdelnacer Saidani (no longer under sentence of death: re-tried
and sentenced to 15-year prison term)
Amnesty International is gravely concerned at the confirmation on
14 January 1993 by the Algerian Supreme Court of 12 death sentences passed
on 4 May 1992.
The 13 people named above were sentenced to death in May 1992 by the military
court in Ouargla. Abdelnacer Saidani was sentenced in absentia but was later
re-tried and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. All 13 were convicted of
participating in an attack against a border post in Guemmar in November 1991,
during which three of the soldiers defending the post were killed. The charges
brought against them included plotting against state security, theft of weapons
and ammunitions, forming an armed band, murder, and crimes against the authority
of the state.
Under Algerian law, those convicted by the military court may apply to the
Supreme Court for review by cassation. The review concerns only alleged
misapplications of the law, not facts. 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.
The first executions known to have been carried out in Algeria since 1989 took
place on 11 January 1992, when two men were executed by firing squad. They
had had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court in October 1992.
Forty-eight death sentences have been imposed over the last year, bringing
the number of those now said to be on death row to over 120.
Amnesty International recognises the right of governments to bring to justice
and to punish those responsible for criminal offences such as those mentioned
above but unconditionally opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation