More than 22,000 foreigners arrested in Algeria in four years

March 20, 2010
By

Algiers

More than 22,000 foreigners have been arrested in Algeria in the last four years, an average of 15 per day, security officials have said.

Forgery, use of bogus documents, counterfeit money, swindling and drugs are among the most common causes for the arrest, the police said in its annual report.

Most of those arrested were Africans, mainly from Nigeria, Senegal and Mali. However, the long list also includes Syrians, Pakistanis, Chinese and Europeans implicated mainly in unlicensed trade. Several nationals from neighbouring countries that include Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania have also been arrested.

Most of the foreigners were deported and only around 25 per cent were tried.

According to Algerian daily El Khabar, the police said that around 700 foreigners were detained in Algeria’s jails, but did not divulge the number of those held on terror or security-related charges.

Algeria has a population of around 35 million people.

Thousands of nationals, mostly from sub-Saharan African countries, regularly seek to use Algeria in their attempts to migrate to Europe.

The government has been pushing for the amendment of the Penal Code in order to introduce heavier penalties for the smuggling of migrants and to make leaving Algeria illegally a criminal offence punishable by up to six months in prison.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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