ALGERIA: GOVERNMENT REJECTS DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION PROPOSAL
June 9, 2009: the Algerian Government rejected a proposal to abolish the death penalty based on the struggle against Islamic terrorism, and security and organised crime considerations.
The death penalty is no longer applied in Algeria, the last execution was in 1993.
Though leaving the door open for eventual abolition in the next few years, the Algerian government justified the rejection of secular RCD Party (Rassemblement pour la culture et la dĂ©mocratie) parliamentarian Ali Brahimiâs proposal, with a statement by the Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia to the Assembly: "The continuing fight against terrorism makes it necessary to maintain the death penalty. Algeria is committed to fighting all forms of criminality. Abolition could be interpreted as a lack of strength and an admission of weakness by the public authorities," the Government argued.
The Governmentâs decision arrives in the middle of a debate on the death penalty that saw the secular front against the Islamic front in February.
The Muslim Oulemas Association, led by Abderahmane Chibane, ex Minister of Religion during the 1980s, played an important role in the campaign. He called the elimination of the death penalty "a threat to the spirit and the letter of the Koran." (Sources: AP, 09/06/2009)