Algeria’s Penal Code was modified on February 25, 2009 by Law n°09-01 (OJ of 8 March 2009)
Article 175 now provides a two to six months prison penalty and a 20,000 DA (200 euros) to 60,000 DA (600 euros) fine to anyone (nationals and resident aliens) leaving or trying to leave Algerian territory in an irregular fashion.
These penalties have already been implemented by tribunals:
a) Tribunal of Annaba, 20 March 2009, Amir c. Ministère Public Case.
b) Tribunal of Annaba, 25 April 2009, Lemtam et autres contre Ministère Public.
c) Tribunal of Oran, 18 May 2009, Boumediène et autres contre Ministère Public.
d) Tribunal of Mostaganem, 22 June 2009, Si Ghaouti et autres contre Ministère Public.
In all these cases, the Public Prosecutor called for the highest penalty. Tribunals agreed in the three first cases. In the fourth case, harragas were penalized with two months in prison.
Since the entry into force of the Law of 25 February 2009, the Algerian courts have been forced to apply Article 303 bis 4 of the Penal Code on trafficking in persons.
In 2010, 18 people were convicted of “transport and transfer by deception and acceptance of payment”, which is under the law of 25 February 2009, a crime of trafficking in persons. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two (2) to five (5) years. 12 others were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from eight (8) years to ten (10) years, having committed the crime of trafficking, as organized criminal group (Article 305 bis of the Penal Code 5).
Sources: Ministry of Justice, Department of the jurisprudence of courts and tribunals, Monthly Bulletin March 2010 Document available in Arabic only.
Algiers court, corrections section: 13 convictions under the Act of February 25, 2009 to terms of imprisonment ranging from 2 to 4 months for violation of Article 175 bis 1 of the Criminal Code relating to the prosecution of persons leaving the country illegally.
Oran court, corrections section: 17 convictions under the aforesaid Act of imprisonment ranging from 15 days to three (3) months and also sentences suspended imposed on mothers who attempted to leave the country illegally along with their minor children.
Court of Annaba, correctional section: 29 convictions under the aforesaid Act sentences ranging from 4 to 6 months of imprisonment and 16 sentences of imprisonment for mothers who attempted to cross the Mediterranean clandestine manner and seniors (over 65) convicted of the same offense.
Algiers court, correctional section: 10 convictions under the Act of February 25, 2009 to terms of imprisonment suspended. All prisoners are people aged 22 to 38 years, all male and unmarried.
Oran court, corrections section: 13 convictions under the aforesaid Act of imprisonment of two to six months imprisonment and four were sentenced to the same term suspended. All prisoners are male and are aged 19 to 23 years.
Court of Annaba, correctional section 10 convictions under the Act of February 25, 2009 to terms of imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to three (3) months. Three of the ten prisoners are female and are aged 21 to 23 years. All prisoners are single.
Sources: Ministry of Justice, Directorate of Documentation, June 2010.