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Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde's constitution pledges its participation in the international fight against terrorism. Its criminal code has been amended by a 2013 law to address terrorist offences in general. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. The Code had earlier criminalized terror attacks against civilians specifically in the context of an armed conflict, in accordance with international humanitarian law, but this provision has been revoked.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Cabo Verde's constitution stipulates that the State "shall participate in the international fight against terrorism".Art. 12(2), Constitution of Cabo Verde.The Criminal Code and a 2013 law that amended it criminalizes a range of terrorist offences, although they are not always described as such, with some described as offences against the State.

A terrorist group or organization is described in the 2013 Law as one whose "purpose is to destroy, alter, or subvert the democratic rule of law enshrined in the Constitution or its institutions, or to offend or endanger the independence or territorial integrity of the country, or even to create a climate of social unrest or disturbance" with a view to compelling conduct by the government or terrorizing the public.Art. 2(1), Law No. 27/VIII/2013, de 21 de Janeiro (2013 Terrorism Law).

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Cabo Verde has adhered to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism. The Constitution provides that "international treaties and agreements, validly approved or ratified, shall be in force in the Cape Verdean legal order after their official publication and their entry into force in the international legal order, and for the time that they are internationally binding on the State of Cape Verde.”Art. 12(2), Constitution of Cabo Verde.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State not party


Cabo Verde has adhered to one of the African Union treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1999 Algiers Convention State Party
2004 Protocol to the Algiers Convention Signatory

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The 2013 Terrorism Law generally criminalizes terrorist acts with imprisonment for between two and ten years.Art. 4(1), 2013 Terrorism Law.Founding a terrorist group carries a penalty of eight to fifteen years in prison while leading it is punishable by ten to twenty years imprisonment.Art. 4(2) and (3), 2013 Terrorism Law.Joining such an organization or group is punishable with imprisonment for between six and twelve years.Art. 4(4), 2013 Terrorism Law.Supporting or assisting a terrorist group carries a penalty of one to eight years in prison.Art. 4(5), 2013 Terrorism Law.

In a situation of armed conflict, the Criminal Code had earlier specified that anyone who conducts or orders excessive or indiscriminate attacks or attacks on civilians with the purpose of terrorizing the civilian population would be punished with a term of imprisonment of between eight and fifteen years unless a more serious penalty is applicable under any other law.Art. 274, Criminal Code of Cabo Verde.This reflected the provisions of international humanitarian law, as contained in the two Additional Protocols of 1977 to the four Geneva Conventions. The provision has, however, been revoked.

Exceptionally, the extradition of Cabo Verdean citizens is permissible in cases of alleged terrorism, according to the Constitution.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Cabo Verde does not have a dedicated police counterterrorism unit.


2013 Terrorism Law

Codigo Penal de Cabo Verde (original Portuguese version at 2013)

2015 Amendments to the Penal Code (original version)