A project will be launched to provide the gendarmerie and police services with a database of biometric identification cards for all Algerians in order to use them to identify unknown bodies, the Head of the Algerian Academy for the Development of Forensic Medicine, Pr. Rachid Belhadj, said.
“The new technique to re-identify the footprints has undergone great development, as it is possible to identify the unidentified bodies, especially those of illegal immigrants and those who died in major disasters in just 14 days”.
Belhadj explained in a statement to Echorouk, that all the unknown bodies are called death “X”, including the bodies of terrorists, criminals or illegal immigrants, and victims of natural disasters, will be buried only 15 days after being kept in morgues, instead of 3 months.
“The new technique for re-fingerprinting has allowed doctors to identify rotting bodies and those that have been exposed to burns or intentional damage to the fingerprint. The issue is no longer a problem in the forensic medicine services at hospitals for the victims of natural and industrial disasters, as is the case with the identification of the illegal immigrants who died at sea, as the new technology allows the renewal of the fingerprint by taking part of the body that has not been destroyed, and the use of automated information to reach a precise result on the identity of the victim”.
In the language of figures, the head of the forensic medicine department at the university hospital of Mustafa Pasha in Algiers said that the technique of renewal or, rather, re-fingerprinting, and DNA technique, allowed in a standard circumstance to identify 34 unidentified bodies, including corpses of illegal immigrants and terrorists.
“The scientific developments and digitization of the Algerian administration, especially the national card and the biometric passport, have contributed greatly to the help of forensic science in identifying the corpses of people in different types of crime and victims of natural disasters”.
“There is a project of providing the security services with a database of all Algerians without exception and I say all Algerians because the security services are only obtaining the list of those wanted by the judicial control or justice. Therefore, the new project allows the provision of security services with the database of Algerians and all that is required by the forensic doctors to identify the unknown bodies will be at their disposal and with the permission of the general prosecutor to the court of jurisdiction”.
Pr. Belhadj called for the need to fill the shortage in the number of doctors who belong to the academy due to the transformations that are experienced by Algeria and the conditions that have passed like the civil war (bloody decade), the Boumerdes earthquake (eastern Algiers), and Algiers Bab El Oued floods, when there was a large role for forensic doctors, but the complexity of social phenomena, especially those related to illegal immigration and crimes of physical violence leading to injury and murder and rape as well, negatively affected the work of this group, which number is no longer sufficient, as they are ranging from 400 to 500 forensic doctors at the national level, and this reflected negatively on other sectors.
By: Nouara Bachouche / English version: Dalila Henache