Constitutional Provisions

The 1989 Constitution of Algeria (as amended) does not explicitly guarantee the right to life but Article 40 provides that:

The State shall guarantee the inviolability of the human person. Any form of physical or moral violence or infringement of dignity shall be prohibited. Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be suppressed by the law. 

Article 48 guarantees to citizens the freedom of assembly. 

The Constitution does not regulate the use of force by the police or other law enforcement agencies.

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)     State Party
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 State Party
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints Yes
CAT Optional Protocol 1 Not party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Signatory

Regional Treaties

Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights State Party
1998 Protocol to the African Charter on the African Court State Party
Article 34(6) declaration regarding individual petitions No
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties at Regional Level
Malabo Protocol on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights Not party
Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
2004 Arab Charter on Human Rights State Party

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

Law enforcement in Algeria is conducted by the Gendarmerie Nationale, under the Ministry of National Defence, and the national police force (Sûreté Nationale), under the Ministry of Interior. As of February 2019, a draft law was proposing to reassign the Gendarmerie to the Presidency or the Ministry of the Interior. 

An arrest may be effected by "adequate force" according to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

A code of ethics for the police was adopted by decree in 2017.Arrêté du 23 Rabie El Aouel 1439 correspondant au 12 décembre 2017 fixant le code de déontologie policière (Decree of 12 December 2017 on the Code of Police Ethics).The code stipulates that the police may only use force where necessary and in accordance with the law. It further states that firearms may only be used where absolutely necessary or in executing tasks mandated by a higher State authority and in accordance with the law. There appears to be no specific legislative regulation of the use of firearms by law enforcement agencies.

Ordinance No. 15-02 of 23 July 2015 modifies the rules governing situations in which persons are held in police custody and strengthens pre-existing measures for protecting the rights of detainees.

Police Oversight

Article 45 of Ordinance No. 06-01 of 27 February 2006 on the implementation of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation is said to prevent effective remedy for victims of violations of the ICCPR’s provisions when committed by law enforcement personnel.



Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures

In 2021, a joint communication from UN special procedures called on Algeria to amend national law on terrorism to bring it into line with international standards.

In its 2018 Concluding Observations on Algeria, Human Rights Committee expressed its concern 

by reports of frequent cases of (a) public and private gatherings being violently dispersed; (b) demonstrators being mistreated, imprisoned and, on occasion, prosecuted; and (c) prosecution or harassment of persons who manage private facilities that are used for private meetings or reserved exclusively for members of legally formed associations, such as hotels....


In May 2019, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights adopted Resolution 414 on the Human Rights Situation in the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in which it  called on the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to ensure that fundamental human rights and freedoms are respected and upheld during the transition period.ACHPR Resolution 414 (LXIV) 2019, adopted at the 64th Ordinary Session of the Commission, meeting from 24 April to 14 May 2019 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

There is not yet an Arab regional human rights court with jurisdiction over Algeria.


2020 Constitution of Algeria (English translation)

Code of Criminal Procedure (French original)

2017 Code of Ethics

Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations on Algeria (2018)

2021 Joint Communication from UN Special Procedures