The Algerian criminal policy in combating terrorism

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


Terrorism is one of the serious global crimes which targeted the Algerian population and his country at the beginning of the last decade of the last century, leading to draw a criminal policy that brought together the rules of criminal law and the principles of peace reconciliation and the embodiment of bilateral, regional and international conventions; all interact with the on-the-field control to the remnants of terrorism, which generate an efficacy of Algerian politics in this area that has become the focus of all countries and authorities.

The content of this article examines the criminal policy adopted by the Algerian state in the fight against one of the most serious international crimes, which became a contemporary threatening to states, including the Arab and Islamic ones, through the presentation of the Algerian experience in dealing with terrorism based on three mechanisms: legal, political and security; where we attempt to identify the concept of terrorism, terrorist and subversive acts, to analyze and explain the provisions of the Algerian Penal Code which dealt with the phenomenon in the substantive side as well as the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code in the procedural aspects to disclose the Algerian criminal policy in the fight against this crime that is forbidden religiously, criminalized legally and rejected customarily.

Then, we explained the various laws of political nature which gave the opportunity to reducer repentant to return to state and to integrate into society, in particular by the two acts: Mercy Act and Charter of peace and national reconciliation which had an articular role in confining and defeating terrorism in Algeria, with a mention to the role of the stringent military and security control of terrorism by highlighting the value of the security approach adopted by Algeria ordaining to stringent control without truce or relentless, to criminalize harboring, financing and ransom payment.

Keywords:Terrorist crime, criminal policy, national reconciliation, legal prevention, strict control, terrorism financing…


It is not a secret that terrorism tried to prejudice all the Algerian population, [1] the state sovereignty and the institutions throughout a black decimal when all national faithful saviors rose up with weapons views and sincere words to combat it, thus the Algerian armed forces led by The National People's Army as always in the front position to face terrorism with strength and courage as a result it left and continue to make its marks in the nation's recent history.

The Algerian enormous sacrifices by lives and properties seen by the arm, power and people are the most important national expressions to reject terrorism and all what is related to it such as ignorance extremism, [2] corruption, and dissolution of values and principles that are all factors created and fed terrorism, it is also that those sacrifices are real expressions of the Algerian state efforts in the formulation of a criminal policy that took into account all the essential elements in combating this phenomenon as well as treatment of its political economic, social and psychological effects. [3]

It was therefore upon us today to highlight these efforts and define them because it has become a pilot experience brought the attention of international and regional States and organizations [4] that quoted from the Algerian experience in the eradication of terrorist crimes. [5]

Like others, the Algerian legislature didn't mention the issue of terrorist crimes in the Penal Code before 1992, due to the non- popularity of the phenomenon, [6] so he issued a special law aimed at tackling this new crime on the community.

Under what was above-mentioned, a case of emergency was declared on February 9th,1992 and would last 12 renewable months [7] as a guarantee to protect the state, its institutions and its citizens in an organized effective way; the legislative Decree no.92-03 related to combating terrorism and destruction, tried to submit a preliminary concept of terrorism as any violation against the security of the state and the territorial integrity and stability of the institutions and their normal functioning by any act aiming to spreading terror and creating an atmosphere of insecurity; Special procedures have been identified and special tribunals were established under this Decree, the sanctions for crimes also were aggravated especially those that are terrorist or subversive in terms of the decree. [8]

To achieve the principle of the substantive legality in criminal law it had to append these crimes to the penal code as the only law in the State reveals the acts described as criminal and the sanctions assigned to them, the Criminal Procedure Code demonstrates the procedures for investigations, trials and the authority vested in their implementations for that, the Algerian legislator has introduced the provisions relating to terrorist crimes within the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure provisions to achieve a fight at a criminal law level.

Here lies the problematic of the topic in an attempt to detect the clear complementarity in the criminal policy adopted by the Algerian state through considerable efforts resulted in a large near-total elimination of terrorist offenses and restricting them effectively.

Chapter one: the combat on criminal lawlevel

1. The penal code

1-1. Acts described as terrorist or subversive[9]

Article 87 bis. Of Order No.95-11, dated February 25, 1995 considered as terrorist or subversive in the concept of this order, any act aimed at the state security, national unity and the territorial integrity and stability of the institutions and their ordinary functioning by any way aiming at:

·       sowing terror among the population and create a climate of insecurity, moral or physical detriment to persons or endangering their life, liberty or security, or damaging their properties;

·       impeding traffic or freedom of movement on roads and occupy public places with crowds;

·       attempt to symbols of the nation and of the Republic and desecrate tombs;

·       affect the means of communication and transport, public and private properties, or unduly possessed or the occupied;

·       harm to the environment or introduce into the atmosphere, soil sub-soil or waters including the territorial sea, a substance likely to endanger human health or animals or the environment;

·       obstacle to the action of public authorities or the free exercise of worship and public freedoms and the functioning of institutions providing public services;

·       Impede the functioning of public institutions or damage to life or property of their agents, or prevent the application of laws and regulations.

By analyzing the content of the article, we find that it tried to give a concept to an act of terrorism or subversion as acts aimed at the state security, national unity, the territorial integrity, stability of the institutions and their normal functioning by spreading terror among the innocent people, blocking traffic and movement, attacks on symbols of the nation and on the surrounding and obstructing the work of authorities and public utilities, as well as the obstruction of public institutions.

Although some researchers in criminal law field said that this concept came too broad in terms of used expressions as it tried to count some of the acts described as terrorist, [10] this concept, as we consider is enough to restrict the acts that were not criminalized in the Penal Code before the issue of this decree particularly felonies and misdemeanors against the state security in Chapter I of Part I of the third book in the second part concerning treason and espionage; the crimes mentioned in Section II concerning the infringement on national defense or national economy;  other offenses mentioned in Section III concerning the attacks and plots and crimes against the State authority and integrity of homeland, as well as the crimes mentioned in Section IV related to Criminal murder and vandalism against the state.

Hence, we get that the criminal judge in considering any case is urging all those texts associated with the crimes of terrorism and subversion, and addressing them in accordance with the basis of complementarity of penal provisions.

1-2. Characteristics of sanctions applied to terrorist acts and subversion

Sanctions for acts of terrorism and subversion are characterized by aggravating in accordance with Article 87 bis 1 (Order No.11-95 dated February 25, 1995); the sanctions against the perpetrator of the acts mentioned in Article 87 bis mentioned- above as follows:

Death when the sanction provided by law is life imprisonment.

·       Life imprisonment when the punishment stipulated in law: temporary imprisonment of ten (10) to (20) years.

·       Temporary imprisonment of ten (10) to twenty (20) years when the sanction provided by law is imprisonment of (05) to (10) years.

·       The sanction would be doubled for the other sanctions.

In application of that, articles 87 bis 02 to 87 bis 10 gave details to sanctions for each act; [11]thus they had added other elements to describe certain acts as terrorist or subversive, including the establishment or management or regulation or involvement or participation, whether in the country or abroad, in any association or group or organization whose purpose or activities fall under the provisions of article 87 bis, as well as who praises the acts of terrorism or encourages or finances them; also who reproduces or knowingly disseminates documents, forms or information that promote those acts added to that who holds, subtracts possesses, sells, imports, exports manufactures, repairs or uses without permission of the competent authority, prohibited weapons orammunition;  anyone who knowingly sells, buys, or distributes, imports or manufactures armes blanches for illicit purposes, as well as who preaches or tries to preach in a mosque or other public places dedicated to prayer, without being appointed approved or licensed for that purpose by the empowered public authority, and also is punishable anyone by preaching or by any other action, undertakes an activity contrary to the noble mission of the mosque or likely to undermine the cohesion of society or to praise and propaganda actions.

1-3. Mitigating and exculpatoryexcuses

Under article 92 of Penal Code: are exempt from punishment those who, before any execution or attempted crime or offense against the security of the State, shall inform the administrative or judicial authorities...[12]

This article was generally applied to all felonies and misdemeanors related to acting against state security, whether the adoption of the terrorist crimes or other ones, either be exempted from punishment or its reduction under certain conditions where the exemption from penalty when notifying the administrative or judicial authority about a felony or misdemeanor against the security of the State before it was implemented or attempted;  the penalty is reduced by one degree if the report comes after post-implementation or attempting, but before starting investigations and prosecutions.

2. The criminal procedure code

2-1. Expansion of some jurisdictions

This can be achieved by:

Expanding the jurisdiction of the judicial police officers in three aspects:

- Expanding the jurisdiction of the judicial police officer

The legislature has expanded the jurisdiction of the judicial police officer in case of preliminary conducted investigations concerns the facts described terrorist or subversive, in addition to his ordinary jurisdiction under order 95-10, he became with large jurisdiction in order to facilitate wider researches and investigations on these crimes and uncover their perpetrators and collecting evidence to enabling to confront the difficulties that may be encountered as a result of seriousness of such acts and their special nature. [13]

A. Territoriality

The nexus with transnational organized crime is increasingly a focus for security planners in their analysesof terror groups.

Territorial jurisdiction means that border district where a judicial police officer exercises his competence; [14] Article 16 first second and third paragraphs provided the territoriality of the police officers, saying: The police officers have jurisdiction within the territorial limits in which they perform their normal functions.However, they may, in an emergency, to operate over the entireof the jurisdiction to which they are attached and on all the territory of the Republic, when they are required by a duly informed magistrate.

The article also provided that in case of terrorist crimes, the jurisdiction extends to the entire national territory, as it says: (however with regard to investigate and preview of drug and transnational organized crimes, automated processing systems for data and laundering, terrorism, crimes relating to exchange legislations, the jurisdiction of the judicial police officers extends to the entire national territory).

In case of the exercise of his competence outside his district, he must inform in advance the competent prosecutor, because the bypass of the local jurisdiction consequents nullity of procedures. [15]

So, the Algerian legislator authorized to extend the territorial jurisdiction of the judicial police, when it comes to research and investigation procedures, they are of legal mechanisms that allow and facilitate its duty to give flexibility to the procedures in order to achieve better results.

B. Ratione temporis

When the police officer practices the tasks of inspection, adhering to the conditions of housing inspection which are divided into conditions related to the place, to time and the and to formalities, [16] he's legally obliged to respect deadlines otherwise he is liable to punishment in accordance with articles 141 and 142 of the Penal Code. However, under Article 47paragraph 03 of the criminal Procedure code, he may conduct an inspection of housing and shops and others, however, in case of crimes of terrorism and sabotage there are exceptions, accordingly he could enter homes for the purpose of inspection after 8 p.m. and before 5 a.m., and may conduct inspections or preview and seizure in everyresident or non-resident every hour of the day and night upon prior authorization from the prosecutor in charge.

The judicial police officer must take into account the specific provisions set forth in Articles 44, 54, 46 and 47 of Criminal Procedure Code, but these articles are not applicable when it comes to crimes of terrorism, except those provisions related to maintaining professional secrecy. [17]

This is considered as an exception in the Penal Code in view of the seriousness of the criminal phenomenon, the inviolability of the home is a constitutionally guaranteed right under Articles 40 and 47 of the Algerian Constitution, [18] but in case of crimes described terrorist or subversive acts, it is permitted to the judicial police to inspect homes and other places or to preview in any time under the direct supervision of the judge who authorized to do so.

C. Garde à vue

It is permissible for a judicial police officer to stop any suspicious person without arrest, because it is an immobilization of a person to know his or her identity. [19]

He can also detent persons for the purpose of investigation, under the third paragraph of Article 51 and the fifth paragraph of Article 65 of criminal Procedure Code, the term of garde à vue in case of crimes described terrorist or subversive acts can be up to 12 days [20] despite that article 48 of the Constitution stipulates that arrests in the subject of criminal investigations do not exceed (48) hours and can be extended only in exceptionalcases if there were specific requirements of investigation. [21]

2. Expansion of the competence of the prosecutor and the investigating judge

The rules of domestic jurisdiction are of public order and could be raised at any time and at any stage of litigation, whether before the Court or the Council in case of an appeal for the first time or before the Supreme Court, [22]but the legislature in Act No.04-14 Amended in November 10, 2004, made exceptions in favor of both the prosecutor and the investigating judge with respect to jurisdiction.

A. The territoriality of the prosecutor

Article 37 of criminal Procedure code expanded the territorial jurisdiction of the prosecutor to include the jurisdiction of other courts but to be in accordance with the regulation in Drug crimes, transnational organized crimes, offenses against the systems of automated processing of data, crimes of money laundering, terrorism and crimes related to legislation of exchange...etc.

In terrorist acts, the prosecutor of the Court where the crime occurred would be notified about the offense and about the primary investigation procedures, he then must immediately send a second copy to the public prosecutor to the judicial tribunal to which the competent court is affiliated. [23]

B. The territoriality of the investigating judge

As stated in Article 40 paragraph 2 of Criminal Procedure Code amended by Law No.04-14 dated 10-11-2004, to extend the domestic jurisdiction of the investigating Judge to the jurisdiction of other courts by regulation for Drug, transnational organized crimes, [24]offenses against the systems of automated processing of data, crimes of money laundering, terrorism, and crimes related to exchange legislation, so that, he becomes having a regional territorial competence beyond the ordinary one, and can move or assign any judicial police officer to perform tasks related to the judicial investigation of aforementioned serious crimes. [25]

According to Article 47paragraph 4, the Investigating judge can undertake any inspectionsor seizure during day or night, anywhere along the national territory, or order the judicial police specialists to do so.

2-2. With regard to ratione materiae

Criminal court for adults is competent to prosecute minors who have attained sixteen years and have committed acts of terrorism or subversion, [26] while juvenile courts are competent to prosecute these minors when they commit crimes of common law.

Under Legislative Decree No.92-03 which established three judicial bodies called Special judicial courts in Algiers, Constantine and Oran, and also established rooms for investigation within these judicial bodies to investigate for the same crimes, but then they were abolished by order No.95-10 dated in 25-02-1995, so this category of crimes became subject to the rules of public law.

The point is that there is some overlap in jurisdiction between the military courts, [27] which claimed to jurisdiction over crimes against state security, crimes of terrorism and subversion and the regular courts singled out by the legislature to consider and view the offenses described terrorist or subversive. [28]

2-3. With regard to obsolescence

In terms of law, obsolescence means the lapse of time to commit the crime specified by legal provisions which results to the fall of the public action; [29]it ascertains legal stability of social relations and reassures people on their interests, so that the accused won't be threatened by the public action because the continuous threat is a sanction itself. [30]

Article 8 bis of Law 04-14dated November 10, 2004 states that the public action does not expire by Obsolescence for felonies and misdemeanors described as acts of terrorism and subversion in accordance with Article 87 bis and its following in law 95-11, while they become obsolete in felonies cases by the lapse of ten full years applicable from the day of the commitment of that crime if in that period no procedure of investigation or follow-up was taken; but in misdemeanors by the lapse of three years in full, and in infractions by two full years.

2-4. The new procedural mechanisms in detection and investigation

In accordance to Law No.06-22 dated December 20, 2006, new mechanisms were adopted to combat the various new forms of criminality, from which terrorist crimes.

1.     Surveillance of persons, things and money transfer

Article 16 bis of the Criminal Procedure Code states that it can be to the judicial police officers and, under their authority, the judicial police officers agents, unless not opposed by the competent public prosecutor after being informed, to extend across the entire national territory the surveillance of persons against whom there is an acceptable or more justification to suspect of committing the crimes referred to in Article 16, or to control the destination or the transfer of  things or funds or proceeds from the commitment of such crimes or may be used in their commitment.

The surveillance provided for in the article can be defined as a security operation carried out by the police for the sake of indirect investigation through observations of activity and movement of people to discover the preparation or commitment of crimes, and it can be conducted by the judicial officers to cover the entire country, so the controls and observations focus on persons against whom there is an acceptable or more justification about suspicion of committing terrorist crimes, but this process would be under the knowledge and consent of the prosecutor territorially competent. [31]

2. Intercepting photos and correspondence, capturing images and sound and imaging

The new legal amendment 06-22 added new articles from Article 65 bis 5 to 65 bis 10, regarding the eligibility of the judicial police officer or the agent to intercept correspondence, to record sounds and to take pictures; the new articles provisions state that in case of urgent investigation in flagrant crimes or in preliminary investigation about terrorist offenses, the prosecutor or the magistrate may as appropriate to authorize the judicial or agents police officers to intercept communications by means of telecommunication, to set  the technical arrangements for the registration of calls and taking pictures; this permission allows to access to residents or other places, even outside the dates established by law and without knowledge or consent of the concerned persons; all this should be under the direct control of who issued the permission and authorization (prosecutor or the investigating judge). [32]

Article 65 bis 6 provides that interception does not affect the principle of maintaining professional secrecy provided for in Article 45 of A.C.P.C., and that in case of detection of other crimes different from those mentioned in the judge's authorization, that is not a reason to invalidity and nullity to precarious procedures.

In accordance with Articles 65 bis 9, 65 bis 10, the interested person by this mission edits records for each interception operation and mentions the date, the beginning and the end of time, and attaches all that with the case file; words and expressions must be copied and translated when  appropriate, with the assistance of an interpreter.

3. Infiltration or breakout

It is one of the new mechanisms adopted and allowed by the legislature for the purpose of reducing serious crimes that threaten society as an effective mechanism allowing penetrating among the criminal networks and enable to identify criminals and disable them to achieve their acts stipulated in articles 65 bis 11 to 65 bis 18.

The infiltration means a task confided to the judicial police officer or an agent to monitor individuals suspected of committing one of the crimes classified as serious by deluding them as an active member with them or a partner, or hidden under false identity; it should be noted that the incitement, by the officer or the agent who penetrated to commit these criminal acts, falls under nullity and invalidity. [33]

Chapter Two:  the political and legal processing under special laws

It is the most important and necessary treatment next to the criminal and security combat which have been noted by the political authorities in Algeria and became a focus of all countries [34] through the empowerment of the misled persons or the persons Retreating to repent for terrorist acts to take advantage of some special measures to cancel or commute a sentence in accordance with legal requirements to be able to reintegrate into the community.

By tracking the path of the historic appearance of this type of crime, three effective laws in this regard were issued:

1. The Mercy act[35]

A. The legal basis of the act:

Mercy Act was issued on the basis of Order No.95-12 dated on February 25, 1995, in accordance with Article 52 of the Penal Code which provides legal excuses and Article 92 of the Penal Code which also provides for exemption from penalty and its mitigation in cases of notification of administrative or judicial authoritiesbefore the commitment of the crimes, under which people pursued for crimes of terrorism or subversion in case of extradition automatically to the competent authorities, have the right to benefit from measures set forth in the articles previously mentioned. [36]

B. The proposed measures of mercy

In its first chapter, this law explains the measures of mercy and compassion from which it is provided that no proceeding to those who have already belonged to one of the organizations mentioned in article 87 bis 3 of the Penal Code and did not commit any crime of those stipulated in Article 87 bis of the Penal Code led to kill a person or to cause permanent disability or to touch the moral or physical safety of citizens or to vandalize public or private properties.

C. The procedures followed in the implementation of the law

They were determined in accordance to mechanisms:

-Individuals involved in terrorist act extradite for themselves automatically, or in the presence of their guardians or attorneys, are delivered immediately a coupon of presence, and within thirty days, a document has to be delivered carrying the following expression "Beneficiary of measures of mercy". [37]

-Providing physical protection for the beneficiary and informing the judicial authorities for this, with the possibility to be subjected to medical examination upon request, but in case of recidivism after they take advantage, they wouldn't benefit from the provisions of this law.

The persons who were involved in terrorist acts and surrendered benefit from the commutation of the sentence, taking into account mitigating circumstances established for minors who have age-restricted to between 16 and 18 years old that the sentence wouldn't exceed in all cases 10 years after having benefiting from the measures of mercy.

Hence, the mercy act tried to establish some flexibility with the perpetrators of terrorist crimes by exempting those who have not committed any criminal act from prosecutions and reducing sanctions on the basis of the powers of the President [38]and based on the ground of national reconciliation and also upon Articles 52 and 92 of the Penal Code.

2. The civil harmony act [39]

Under the Civil Harmony Act No. 99-08, of 13 July 1999, members of armed groups knownto have committed human rights abuses including killings of civilians, were granted amnestyand exempted from judicial prosecution, no matter what evidence of their responsibility forsuch abuses may have existed at the time of them being granted amnesty or may have come tolight later. [40]

The Act of Civil Concord is part of the grand design of restoring peace and harmony to society. The act makes provision for a specific legal framework within which all persons who participate in, or have participated in, acts of terrorism or subversion, and who clearly express their desire to cease all criminal activity, are given the opportunity of acting upon their intentions and regaining a place within society. [41]

A. The substantive rules of the civil harmony act

Persons, to whom Article 1 refers, under the terms of the present act, may benefit from one of the following measures:

- Exemption from prosecution;

- A probation order;

- Mitigated sentencing.

1. Exemption from prosecution:

For those who intended to participate in a terrorist act and serve the state and the society by surrendering and reporting the crime before its commitment as well as individual members of the terrorist organizations, all, are exempted from prosecution altogether.

2. Deferment status

It is the prerogative of a special committee called "Deferral Committee", for the purpose to verify the repentance of the beneficiary from the procedure, and it concerns individuals found guilty of belonging to a terrorist group and had not committed terrorist acts, but to repent within three months from the date of issuance of the act; they may be allowed by authorities to participate in fight forces against terrorism during the period of deferment, which should not exceed 05 years.

3. Commutation of sentences

This is for those involved in terrorist acts such as not mass murder or placing explosives in public places, with the requirement to attend and surrender to the competent authorities, so these benefit from a reduction of penalties under the conditions specified in this act.

B. Procedural rules of the civil harmony law:

To apply concord law on the reality, special procedures as defined by this law must be followed, and we distinguish the following:

1. The initial procedures:Throughout the presence of the interested person in front of the security authorities.

2. The procedures before deferral commission:After referral from the public prosecutor to the committee, he convokes it as soon as possible and displays the file, but in case of a lack in the file, he could claim for investigation and to inquire about any incomplete information.

3. Charter for peace and national reconciliation [42]

A. The general framework of the charter

Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation is one of the most important acts launched by President Abdul-Aziz Bouteflika in the form of a presidential decree No.05-278 dated 14 August, 2005 including a calling to the voters about a referendum on national reconciliation on Thursday, September 29th, 2005;

The question asked in the referendum and to which the voters could respond by yes or no was: “Do youagree with the President’s approach to restoring peace and civil harmony?” If you agree answer "yes" (blue ballot paper), if you disagree answer "No" (white ballot paper);

The referendum result was as great as the Algerian people who endorsed and recommended this project unanimously and by an absolute majority.

Law 06-01 empowers the Algerian President, [43]"by virtue of the mandategiven to him by the 29 September 2005 referendum", to "at any time, take all other measuresnecessary for putting into effect  the Charter  for  Peace  and  National  Reconciliation". [44]

B. Actions to promote peace and national reconciliation

The Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation is primarily considered as a procedural act through the adoption of mechanisms designed to restore peace and promote national reconciliation and support policy for handling the file of missing persons; the most important of these procedures are summarized in:

1. Actions to promote peace

The Charter states procedures [45]from which the legislature seeks to provide security and the return of peace to the country if achieved, namely:

-Abolition of prosecutions

This measure concerns several categories and it is assumed that the public prosecution to be legally entitled to the implementation of these procedures, by saving the file after a decision by the prosecutor regionally competent, and by which the concerned benefits from the avoidance and nullity of prosecutions.

What is noted is that the acts about judicial prosecution nullity confirmed the principle that those who participated in mass killings or violation of sanctity or the use of explosives in attacks on public places or frequented by the public will benefit from the mitigation measures amnesty or any of the procedures aimed at national reconciliation.

-Amnesty procedures

Policies and approaches to deal with prisonradicalization were analyzed in Afghanistan, France, the Netherlands,Pakistan, the Philippines, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the UnitedStates. The analysis of collective disengagement and radicalizationis based on the experiences of Algeria, Egypt, and…Forindividual disengagement and radicalization, the report looked atAfghanistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi-Arabia, Singapore,and Yemen. [46]

Law no 06-01 issued on February 27, 2006 provides an amnesty to all members of armed groups whosurrender or are in prison, as long as they  did not "commit, or were accomplices in, orinstigators of, acts of collective massacres, rape, or the use of explosives in public places". [47]

Amnesty is the second measure or mechanism adopted by the legislature in an act of peace and reconciliation, belonging to two categories:

Category I: Amnesty for convicted individuals and who are subject to imprisonment for committing the activities of supporting terrorism.

Category II: Amnesty for convicted individuals and who are subject to imprisonment for committing acts of violence and non-collective massacres, sanctity violation, or the use of explosives in attacks on public places.

- Change or exemption from sanctions

It is the latest of the measures of actions aimed at peace; it concerns two categories:

Category I:Replacement of sanctions or exemption from part thereof for the benefit of all individuals who have been sentenced to a final judgment, i.e. individuals who are subject of commutation of sentence under civil harmony law.

Category II:Replacement of sanctions or exemption from part thereof for the benefit of wanted people who are not covered by the nullity of actions procedures or the amnesty procedures mentioned above.

The approach of this article with what preceded, it should be noted that this procedure for wanted people who had been sentenced in absentia for terrorist crimes but such acts do not relate to mass murder outrages, the use of explosives in public places or to be one of the offenses set forth in Article 87 bis 3 which are related to leadership or to establishment or participation in a terrorist organization.

2. Actions aimed at promoting reconciliation

They aim to:

-Put a total end of harassment that can affect people who proved their repentance and chose to embrace the civil concord policy.

-Blocking the opposed parties' opportunity inside and abroad to exploit the internal situation to confuse and disable the path of national reconciliation.

-Enabling dismissed citizens to return to jobs, and the resolve of their social situation altogether. [48]

-Not to exploit religion for political purposes, and deprive those who participated in terrorist acts from the exercise of political activity.

3. Actions to support the policy for handling the file of missing

The role of victims in the administration of criminal justice has for a long time beenlimited to that of a trial witness. Since the 1970s victimology has played an important function in revitalizing the role of the victim, once described as the “forgotten partyin the criminal justice system.[49]

Under Algeria’s Code  of  Criminal  Procedure, a victim is  anyone  who has person-ally suffered  damage  directly caused  by a crime [50]but a victim  of  an  act  of  terrorism  isdefined  as  any  person who  has  died  or suffered damage to their person or property duetoanact committed  by a terrorist or terrorist  group. [51]

In Algerian legislation, the victim of a national tragedy is defined as any person reported missing in the context of a national tragedy. [52]

These Algerian procedures and actions can be seen in:

-The State has at its disposal the fate of all missing persons in the context of the national tragedy and necessary actions will be taken after encountering all the facts.

-Taking all appropriate measures to enable those with rights of missing persons to overcome the ordeal.

-Considering missing persons as victims of the national tragedy and to give rights to holders to compensation. [53]

-Persons who have suffered bodilyharm or material damage following acts of terrorism are entitled to compensation. Funds havebeen allocated by the authorities to the relatives of persons assassinated by armed groups. [54]

These funds have in many cases been distributed to the concerned families, [55]although somehave complained that they never received the money which had been pledged. [56]

Finally, we conclude that the legislature, in the framework of national domestic laws, achieved relevant solutions in the fight against terrorist crimes through the adoption of all the mechanisms that ensured to achieve this aim; [57] the military and security confrontation was a basis for the suppression and deter of this phenomenon through the imposition of a state of emergency that has saved the country and limited and encountered terrorist activities as well as it enabled the Military and security authorities to achieve quantum leaps in the elimination of the most dangerous terrorist organizations, and beside that there was a legal and political treatment framework from Criminal Code by its two branches (sanctions and procedures), as well as the adoption of acts such as mercy law, which tried to lure members of armed groups to repent and return, then the Civil harmony Law, which codified the Armistice unilaterally declared by those organizations.

Finally, there was an effort of national reconciliation that has made evident gains heal the rift between members of the community and refute terrorism and its recession as a prelude to eliminate its roots.

It should be noted that the security situation has greatly improved since the civil conflict of the 1990s, but terrorism hasnot been totally eliminated. [58]

Chapter Three: the compatibility of national criminal law with international criminal law

The Algerian state has made other efforts on regional and international levels through the signing of cooperation agreements for fight and activation of judicial and security cooperation mechanisms [59]this is reflected in several aspects of the agreements and conventions between the national criminal code and international concluded agreements, this can be seen through the provisions issued by the legislature:

1. The penal code

-Order No.96-22 dated on July 09, 1996 concerning the punishment of violations of legislation and regulation of the exchange and the movement of capital from to and abroad, amended and supplemented by Order No. 03-01 dated on 19-02-2003. [60]

-Law No.04-18 dated on 25-12-2004 related to the prevention from drugs and psychotropic substances and suppression of exploitation and illicit trafficking in them.

-Law No.05-01, dated on 06-02-2005 including the prevention from money laundering and financing of terrorism and countering them.

2. The criminal procedurecode

-Law No.04-14, dated on 10-11-2004 about the Territoriality jurisdiction of the prosecutor and the investigating judge and the extension of Territoriality.

-Law No.06-22 of 20-12-2006 on the expansion of the jurisdiction and powers of judicial police officers and others.


The dilemma of terrorism has been posed to be addressed and treated legally since the early twentieth century and sought to limit this phenomenon, to codify and deter it; so there was the international conference held in the scope of the unification of the Criminal Code, as well as the scope of bilateral agreements on extradition, which concluded these efforts with a convention to criminalize and snub terrorism under The League Nations on 16 November 1937, but after then, this issue "international terrorism" was not raised mildly to the attention of the United Nations and some international organizations only at the beginning of the seventies.

The Algerian legislature did depart from this context and orientation despite of the specialty posed by security and political conditions, so Algeria joined most of the international deterrent treaties and conventions, [61] and comply with binding UN in this area of policy in establishing a remarkable criminal policy for anti-terrorist crime.

The Algerian legislature followed a criminal policy as a set of means and measures to deter terrorist and subversive acts as effectively as possible, these measures and actions are not far from addressing the phenomenon of terrorism, both substantively and formally, and were  not limited to the confrontation at the issue of penal legislation and aggravating sanctions , but exceeded the matter to the attention of reasons leading to the exacerbation of this new phenomenon of crime in order to address them and reduce their height, these can be see, first, in  the pass  of a  law in 1992 devoted through a concept of terrorist crime as required by the confrontation and deal with the challenges dictated by state law, the requirements of democracy, protection of human rights, the values ​​of justice  and  principle of legality .

The Algerian experience in combating terrorism constitutes especially relating to the side of the legislative and legal, a pilot experience, especially in the last ten years through the arsenal of legal and operational mechanisms enabled the file mode of counter-terrorism in its legislative framework through, first, the Penal Code in the part concerning the fight against terrorism and the  adaptation of  national legislation with international ratified agreements in particular those relating to the suppression of the financing of terrorism, its combat and prevention, from  this sense, the Algerian legislator rushed other project towards criminal policy based on the rigor and robustness of the fighters of this phenomenon with the treatment of all aspects and levels (socially, politically, religiously) [62] then the pursuit of a policy of peace and forgiveness, reconciliation and harmony, ending by the civil amnesty.


ü    The fight against terrorism calls to stand when the true concept of the phenomenon Terrorism is a concept that does not have a recognized and agreed legal meaning.

ü    Terrorist crimes are all actions aimed at the state and its institutions and all innocent citizens for the purpose of intimidating and creating fear motivated by ignorance and illiteracy and extremism in religion for political purposes.

ü    The value of the Algerian state efforts in the fight against terrorist crimes is clear; this can be seen in its actual defeat of the phenomenon and the ideological failure as well as establishment of deep peace and reconciliation in fact.

ü    The "Algerian model" differs from the methodology used in some of the countries that witnessed part of the tragedy from which by Algeria suffered such as enforced disappearance, torture or extrajudicial sentences.

ü    The objective criminal policy to confront the crimes of terrorism is dominated by firmness, in the treatment of perpetrators of terrorist crimes -as an exception- with tolerance and social interest through special laws.

ü    The Algerian state has adopted, in its experience in combating terrorism, an approach combining activation of a military solution strict security and active movement of national criminal justice by strong provisions and flexible procedures as well as by the establishment of a framework for peace and reconciliation on the ground, which is a pilot experience that became the focus of the international community.

ü    Despite the shortcomings which still distinguish the international efforts to combat terrorism, the existing regional and international conventions can be considered fertile ground for agreement on the concept of terrorism and to reflect all the mechanisms of international cooperation, through reform rehabilitation and reintegration.


ü    Given the magnitude of the great efforts and sacrifices of the Algerian armed forces of various kinds, we suggest accelerating in writing of the exploits of those efforts of gold by specialists, to be reserved for younger future generations and to reveal the threat of terrorism and its ideology.

ü    Activation of the educational system, the mosque, the civil society organizations and youth clubs in disseminating the culture of moderation and awareness against the dangers of extremism and terrorism.

ü    Despite the success of the Algerian experience in combating terrorism, we suggest further activation of existing mechanisms whether military, security, legal or political to enable the eventual elimination of this alien criminal phenomenon to the Algerian people and its components, with the maintenance in the promotion of the professional of National People's Army and all the other security branches.

ü    In addition to those solutions, preventive measures in the fight against global terrorism mustn't be neglected.

ü    Supporting the National reform efforts of Algeria in order to expand and support international experiences.

ü    The inclusion of the Algerian criminal model within the "strategy of the United Nations about Global Counter-Terrorism" and within regional attempts. [63]


[1] These attempts also targeted other countries such as KSA through Riyadh and Elkhobor bombings in 1995 and some terrorist operations targeting mostly Western presence.

[2] For more details about extremism, seee.g., the study of Dr.Christopher, Boucek, a U.S. expert working on the study of strategies of Saudi Arabia to combat militancy and rehabilitation of repentant extremists, titled “Extremist Reeducation and Rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia.” Terrorism Monitor. Aug.16, 2007. available at

- See also, Naim, Tamim, El-hakim. 2013. “international admiration for Assakinah experience in the fight against terrorism”, and Asharq” explore its applications in Somalia and Singapore.” 15. Sharq print. Newspaper. 504.

[3] See, e.g, Prevention of Terrorism Jordanian Act No.55, 2006; the Egyptian penal code; the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Act 1999) and the Saudi law “the fight against terrorism and its financing”, consisting of 41 items (Feb. 2014) approved by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz after being passed by the Council of Ministers (Dec., 2013)

[4] See e.g., “the lessons learned from the experiences of countries in the fight against terrorism.” 2005. RiyadhDeclaration of the Int. Conf. for the fight against terrorism.

[5] See “the Algerian, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egyptian, Iraqi and Lebanese experiences in confronting terrorism.” 2012. Scientific Conference of the impact of terrorism on social development, Naïf Arab Univ. for Sec. Scs.

[6] Jean, Pradel. 1987. “les infractions de terrorisme, un nouvel exemple de l'éclatement du droit pénal.” 12. Recueil Dalloz Sirey.

[7] See Ed.10 Official Gazette of P.D.R.A including the Presid. Decree No.92-44(Feb.9, 1992) on “the declaration of a state of emergency.”  Art.01.available at

- See also Ed.12 Official Gazette (Feb.24, 2011) including the presid. Order to lift the state of emergency. Available at

[8] See Official Gazette of P.D.R.A Ed.70 (Sep.30, 1992) on “combating subversion and terrorism.” available at

[9] See sec.4 bis, Art.87 bis, the Algerian Penal Code (2006).

[10] See Ahcene, Bouskia. 2007. “Summary of the Common Penal Code.” 41. Ed.5. Dar Houma Press. Algiers: 45.

[11] See Sec.4 bis on sanctions which are inflicted on those who committed crimes described acts of terrorism or subversion in the Algerian Penal Code and the order 95-11 (1995).

[12] See Article 92 of the Algerian Penal Code.

[13] Mohammed, Hazit 2006. “A memoir in the Algerian Criminal Procedures Code.” Ed.1. Dar Houma Press. Algiers : 65-66.

-See also Ahmed, Chawki Chalakani. 2008. “Principles of Criminal Procedures in the Algerian legislation.” Part 2. University Press Office, Algeria: 161.

[14] Solomon, Parche. 2000. “Explanation of the Algerian Criminal Procedure Code.” Dar Chihab Press. Batna. Algeria: 118.

[15] Solomon, Parche, ibid. p.120.

[16] Mohammed, Mahda. 1991. “Guarantees to the suspect during the preliminary investigation.” Ed.1. Dar El-houda Publisher. Ain Melila Algeria: 126 and beyond.

-See also Ahmed, Ghay. 2001. “Guarantees to the suspect during the Initial investigations.” Dar Houma Press. Algeria: 222.

[17] Solomon, Parche. Ibid.p.122.

- Mohammed, Hazit. Ibid. p.66.

[18] Article 40 of the Constitution of Algeria provides that “The State guarantees the inviolability of home, thus there is no inspection unless under law and no inspections unless by written order issued by the competent judicial authority.”

-Article 47 of the Algerian constitution provides that “None is prosecuted, arrested nor detained only in cases specified by law and in accordance with the prescribed forms.”

[19] Mouley, Baghdadi. 2006. “The Criminal Procedures in the Algerian penal legislation.” Office of University Publications. Algiers: 201.

- See also Ahmed, Chawki Chalakani. Ibid. p.175.

[20] Mohammed, Hazit. Ibid. p.66.

- Solomon, Parche. Ibid. p.124.

[21] See Article 48 of the Constitution of Algeria.

[22] Mouley, Baghdadi. Ibid. p.139.

[23] Abdullah, Khabbaba. 2000. “The New forms of criminalization in the light of international conventions.” the judges Bulletin Journal, edition No.536. National Office of Educational Prints. Algeria. February 2000: 82.

[24] Louise, I. Shelley and others. 2005. “Methods and Motives: Exploring Links between Transnational Organized Crime & International Terrorism.” U.S.Department of Justice publications. September 2005: 04.

[25] Mohammed, Hazit. Ibid. p.82.

- See also Abdullah, Khabbaba. Ibid. p.83.

[26] Article 249, paragraph 2 of The Algerian criminal procedure.

[27] Article 10 of the decree on the state of emergency stipulates that military courts can report crimes, misdemeanors and violations, crimes against state security, whatever the status of the instigators of the commission, or their actors or partners.

[28] Ahcene, Bouskia. Ibid. p.46.

[29] Solomon, Parche. Ibid. p.86.

[30] Ahmed Chawki Chalakani. part 02. Ibid. p.76.

[31] The French legislator did not match any term of this authorization the Belgian legislature has set the duration of one renewable month within 06 months when it comes to serious crimes, see Abdullah Khabbaba. Ibid. p.89-90.

[32] See Article 65 bis5, the Algerian Criminal Procedure Code.

[33] Abdullah, Khabbaba. Ibid. p.63 and beyond.

[34] For more details see Christopher, Boucek. 2010. “Saudi strategy in the fight against terrorism.” Middle EastCarnegie Program. July 18.

-The Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Algeria, Sami bin Abdullah bin Osman Salah, confirmed that Algeria and The Kingdom are linked by cooperation in the fight against terrorism, noting that “Algeria has pioneering experience in this area and since years ago.”El-youm newspaper.Algeria.On 27 August, 2010.

[35] Order No.95-12, dated on 25 Ramadan 1415, corresponding to February 25, 1995 including the act of mercy, the Official Gazette of P.D.R.A. No.11.

[36] See the first article of the act of Mercy.

[37] See the annex of Statement prepared in the framework of the application of Article 13 of Order No. 06-01 dated February 27, 2006 including the implementation of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation.

[38] See the Algerian constitution, Article 77, paragraph 7.

[39] We mean the civil harmony Law, No.99-08, of 13 July 1999, which was issued during the first presidency term of President Abdul-Aziz Bouteflika and it was the second step after Law of Mercy of 1995.

[40] “AlgeriaBriefing to the Human RightsCommittee.” 2007. Amnesty international. International secretariat. United Kingdom, October 2007: 07.

[41]See the general provisions, Article 01.

[42] Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation issued in accordance with Presidential Decree No.05-278, dated on August 14, 2005.

[43] Order No.06-01, dated on February 27, 2006, includes the implementation of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. [44] See Article 47 of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation.

[45]See the Official Gazette No.55 of P.D.R.A, dated 10 Rajab 1426 corresponding to August 15, 2005.

[46]Peter, R. Neumann. 2010. “Prisons and Terrorism: Radicalisation and De-radicalisation in 15 Countries.” the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR): 10.  

[47]“Algeria Briefing to the Human Rights Committee.” 2010. AI Index: MDE 28/017/2007. Amnesty International Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence: 05.

[48]The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism. UNODC. United  nations. Austria. November 2011: 03.    

[49]Algerian Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 02.

[50]See Article 02 of Decree 99-47 of February 13, 1999.

[51]See Article 27 of Ordinance  No.06-01  of February 27, 2006  on  the implementation of the Charter “la Paix et la Reconciliation Nationale.”  UNODC. United nations. Austria. November 2011, “the Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism.”: 18.

[52]The Presidential Decree No.06-93 dated on February 28, 2006 related to compensation of the victims of the national tragedy.

[53]The Presidential Decree No.06-94, dated on February 28, 2006 related to the state subsidy for disadvantaged families that have plagued the involvement of one of her relatives in terrorism.

[54]The Presidential Decree No.06-95 dated on February 28, 2006 related to statement provided for in Article 13 of the Order containing the implementation of Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. [55] The Presidential Decree No.06-95 dated on February 28, 2006 related to statement provided for in Article 13 of the Order containing the implementation of Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation.

[56] See the executive decree No.99-47 of February 13, 1999.

[57] For more details, see Amber, Lee, Stoesser, Lesniewicz. 2009. “Alternatives to punishment: counterterrorism strategies in Algeria.” Master of Arts Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Universityof Maryland: 06 and beyond.

[58] Alexis, Arieff. 2013. “Algeria: Current Issues.” Congressional Research Service. November 18: p.07.

[59] The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East and North Africa, William Burns, said that USA benefit from the experience of Algeria in the fight against terrorism and appreciates the efforts of the Saudi Arabia government in the fight against this phenomenon. Khudhair, Boukalia and Moncef, Sellimi. 2002. Middle EastNewspaper. Issue 8778, December 10.

[60] For more details see Abdul Hussein, Shaaban. 2012. “International justice and national justice: a relationship of integration or oppose?” A working paper presented to the meeting of the Permanent Bureau of the Union of Iraqi Jurists. Oman. April 14-15, 2012.

[61] For example, The Arab Convention for the fight against terrorism which entered into force on May 7, 1999.

[62]For more details about the role of religion in fighting terrorism, see Rania, Mohammed Aziz, Nazmi. 2009. “The efforts of scholars of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in combating terrorism.” international conference: terrorism between extremism of thought and ideology of extremism. K.S.A. May 25-27, 2009.

[63] For instance, the African Union through his Special Representative in charge of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and director of the African Centre for Studies and security Research, Ransescu Madeira, said that the experience of Algeria could be applied in the fight against terrorism in Mali. Cherifa, Abed. 2013. Elfajr newspaper. Algeria, Mar. 18