Algeria’s National People’s Assembly (First Chamber of Parliament) has approved a new bill that provides the death penalty for child abductors.
The proposed new law provides harsher punishments for offenders convicted of crimes of abduction involving children.
The death penalty has not been formally abolished in Algeria but it has also not been implemented since 1993, and that was in a terrorism case.
The new bill has to go through a second reading in the Council of the Nation before it becomes law.
The draft law comes after Algeria witnessed an increase in incidents of kidnapping and killing of children and female minors.
Last weekend, Minister of Justice Belkacem Zaghmati hinted that discussions were underway regarding a draft law to combat crimes of child abduction.
Zaghmati said: “We can resume the death penalty [as stipulated by law]. Do not be surprised if this punishment is applied in the future if necessary,” adding that there is a discussion at the national and international levels between supporters and abolishers.
“Algeria is a sovereign state and it is free to apply the death penalty. There is no local or global objection to that,” in reference to pressure exerted by international human rights organisations to abolish capital punishment.
“Algeria has not signed or ratified any international agreement that prohibits the use of the death penalty. If necessary, the death penalty will be resumed,” the minister continued.
Algeria suspended the death penalty in 1993 due to local and international accusations that the authorities were using executions to take revenge on opponents.
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