Types of criminalisation

  • Criminalises sex between men
  • Criminalises sex between women
Penal Code 1966, Article 338 Homosexuality

Article 338 criminalises “acts of homosexuality” with a maximum penalty of two years and a fine of 2000 dinars. The law applies to such acts both between men and between women.1

Penal Code 1966, Article 333 Acts against nature

Article 333 (modified) of the Penal Code 1966 increases the penalty for public indecency if it involves people of the same sex, whether between men or between women. The maximum penalty is three years and a fine of up to 10,000 dinars.2

Enforcement

2017

The US Department of State Human Rights Report on Algeria states that there were multiple arrests for same-sex sexual relations but no known prosecutions during the year in 2017. In 2016 the Department of State reported that “the vague wording of laws identifying “homosexual acts” and “acts against nature” permitted sweeping accusations that resulted during the year in multiple arrests for same-sex sexual relations but no prosecutions.” While some reports indicate that LGBT individuals are not actively pursued by authorities unless the case involves a minor, others suggest that state authorities keep a list of gay men.

2013

In May a Canadian Refugee Board report on the treatment of sexual minorities in Algeria quotes a local news source which states that two gay men were detained for “indecent behaviour and incitement to immorality”. It similarly cites a 2010 report from Algeria, which claims an imam caught having “homosexual relations” in his mosque, was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Statement by Public Figures

2016

During a May radio interview, Minister of Religious Affairs Mohamed Aissa said that combatting individuals who promote the deviation of morality and the dismantling of the family (a reference to the behaviour of LGBT people) was more important than the fight against Da’esh

Torture, plain and simple. That’s the only word I can think of.

Anonymous lesbian on her forced marriage

2013

According to one Canadian News Source (quoting sources from within Algeria), one Algerian embassy official publicly threatened the arrest of a group of Algerian refugees and threatened their families.

 

Persecution and Discrimination

2017

Algerian LGBT activists have reported incidents of arbitrary detention and physical and sexually abuse by police officers of LGBT people.

2013-2016

Algerian LGBT organisation, Trans Homos DZ published a series of  reports documenting the violence suffered by LGBT people in their every day lives, including cases of violence in the family, in public spaces, in university, in the workplace and in prisons. They have also documented anti-LGBT rhetoric of the media, particularly media outlets, Ennahar TV and Echourouk TV. Trans Homos DZ also published a report which noted the physical and sexual abuse of prisoners based on their sexual orientation. It was alleged that prisoners who were perceived as gay or transgender were placed in a specific cellblock near other prisoners who had committed serious crimes.

2013

The UK Country of Origin report on Algeria indicated that individuals are subjected to societal abuse. It quotes a 2011 article by a German broadcaster which interviewed an individual living in Algeria:

I got arrested in Algeria once when I was 17 years old. I was just hanging out on the street with a friend, but I looked a bit effeminate with my long hair…The policeman was trying to force me to sign something that I didn’t admit to, so I didn’t sign it. Then another policeman signed it on my behalf. Since that time I have been publicly outed with the police and the government in Algiers, and they even keep a register containing all the names of gay people in Algeria.

Other LGBT individuals outlined in the document were reportedly recipients of death threats.

Footnotes
1. Penal Code 1966, Article 338 Homosexuality

“Any person guilty of a homosexual act shall be punished with imprisonment of between two (2) months and two (2) years and a fine of between five hundred (500) and two-thousand (2,000) Algerian dinar.” Full text.

2. Penal Code 1966, Article 333 Acts against nature

“When the indecent exposure consisted of an act against nature with an individual of the same sex, the penalty is imprisonment for six months to three years and a fine of 1,000 to 10,000 dinars.” Full text.

Keep in Touch

Sign up to our newsletter for updates on key legal challenges to anti-LGBT laws around the world, news on the reform of discriminatory laws in the Commonwealth, comment from our Director on landmark judgments and employment opportunities at the Trust.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER