Arrest of a U.S. Citizen

The U.S. Embassy is committed to ensuring fair and humane treatment for U.S. citizens imprisoned overseas. We stand ready to assist incarcerated citizens and their families within the limits of our authority in accordance with international law, domestic and foreign law.  Please note that the Algerian government treats dual-national Algerian-Americans who enter Algeria on an Algerian passport solely as Algerian citizens, and the role of the U.S. Embassy may be limited for such persons.

Avoid getting arrested overseas by:

If you are arrested in Algeria or know a U.S. citizen who is:

  • Ask the prison authorities to notify the U.S. Embassy in Algiers
  • You may also wish to reach out to the U.S. embassy to let us know of arrest.

Consular Assistance to U.S. Prisoners:

When a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, he or she may be initially confused and disoriented.  It can be more difficult because the prisoner is in unfamiliar surroundings, and may not know the local language, customs, or legal system.

 We can help:

  • Provide a list of attorneys practicing in Algeria
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with his/her written permission
  • Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate
  • Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care
  • Provide a general overview of the local criminal justice process
  • Provide information on local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime that may be available
  • If requested, ensure that prison officials are permitting visits with  a member of the clergy of the religion of his/her choice
  • Establish an Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens, when permissible under prison regulations

We cannot:

  • Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas
  • State to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent
  • Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in court overseas
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas