El-Harrach prison is one of Algeria's most infamous prisons along with Serkadji, Lambese, and berrouaghia. It is located 10 kilometers south of the Algerian capital. It is built to accommodate two thousand prisoners, but it incarcerates a number of inmates that exceeds that. It is a prison that held a number of Algerian nationalist activists and leaders during the colonial era, including Messali Hadj and Abane Ramdane (1955).
It is a jail in which many Islamic Salvation Front members have been detained, including its leader Ali Belhaj. Mohamed Benchicou, editor of - Le Matin - daily, was imprisoned there for two years during which he wrote his diary, now published under the title - Algeria's Prison Cells. Algerian authorities have decided to close it and build a new jail in its stead.