Update to DZA35074.FE of 26 July 2000 on procedures followed by the army in cases of desertion; whether deserters are being ordered to report by the gendarmerie; time allowed to respond to such orders, if applicable; whether the reason for desertion appears on the order to report; the current situation of deserters (January 2005-May 2005) [DZA43564.FE]

Limited information on the current situation of deserters could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints for this Response.

An undated article posted on the Algeria-Watch Website stated that [translation] "a large proportion of youths" avoid military service without even obtaining an exemption or stay (yellow card). According to the article, they wait-sometimes until their thirties-for a possible amnesty (Algeria-Watch n.d.). The article also stated that these youths are eventually forced to join the army after ignoring many notices to report for duty (ibid.).

According to the Website for the Algerian consulate in Saint-Étienne, France, national service regularization does not apply to deserters, [translation] "under the 1999 presidential measures, which stipulate that Algerian citizens born before 31 December 1981 no longer have to justify their national service status at border stations upon leaving Algeria" (n.d.).

An article published in the Buffalo News reported that an Algerian air force deserter who claimed asylum in the United States feared returning to his country because "the Algerian military treats deserters with severe penalties . . . if they're viewed as terrorist sympathizers" (8 Apr. 2004). However, this allegation could not be corroborated among other sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to an article published in Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent, [translation] "deserting officers" are among the groups (including [translation] "repentant terrorists") who wanted [translation] "to benefit from provisions in the future amnesty law" (17 Apr. 2005), but [AI English version] "[s]o far, little is known about the terms of the proposed amnesty" (AI 14 Apr. 2005; see also Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 17 Apr. 2005), which should be adopted by the Algerian government during 2005 (ibid.). In a joint statement, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the International Commission of Jurists and the International Federation for Human Rights expressed their concerns regarding [AI English version] "official statements [that] indicate that the law will grant exemption from prosecution to any member of an armed group, state-armed militia or the security forces for crimes committed in the course of the conflict [in Algeria], including serious human rights abuses" in the interest of "national reconciliation" (AI 14 Apr. 2005).

No information on the procedures followed by the army in cases of desertion and on whether the reason for desertion appears on the order to report could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints for this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Algeria-Watch. n.d. M. Mazari. "À la recherche de la carte jaune." http://www.algeria-watch.org/fr/article/mil/service_militaire.htm [Accessed 13 May 2005]

Algerian Consulate in Saint-Étienne. n.d. "Service national." http://www.consulat-algerie-saintetienne.org/affaires_consulaires/service_national/ [Accessed 16 May 2005]

Amnesty International (AI). 14 April 2005. "Algérie : la loi d'amnistie risque de légaliser l'impunité pour les auteurs de crimes contre l'humanité." (AI Index: MDE28/005/2005) http://web.amnesty.org/library/print/FRAMDE280052005 [Accessed 17 May 2005]

Buffalo News. 8 April 2004. T. J. Pignataro. "9/11 Detainee in Batavia Denied Asylum." (Dialog)

Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent [Paris]. 17 April 2005. "Des indemnités pour les terroristes?" http://www.lintelligent.com/articleImp.asp?art_cle=LIN17045desinsetsir0 [Accessed 13 May 2005]

Additional Sources Consulted


Attempts to contact the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) and the Algerian League for Human Rights (LADH) were unsuccessful.

Publication: Arabies.

Internet sites, including: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Algeria-Watch, BBC, El Watan, European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), L'Expression, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Le Jeune indépendant, Maghreb des droits de l'homme, Le Matin, Mouvement algérien des officiers libres, Le Soir d'Algérie, La Tribune, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, United States Department of State, War Resisters' International (WRI), World News Connection (WNC).