Algerian Courts Have Handed Death Sentences: Algerian Courts Have Handed Death Sentences: During the terrible wildfires of 2021, a man was murdered after being wrongly accused of starting the blazes. Pictured is a burned vehicle found in Algeria’s Kabyle area, where an artist was shot and died after being wrongly convicted of arson.
49 Mob Murderers Received Death Sentences in Algeria
According to defense attorneys and the state news agency, an Algerian court has sentenced 49 people to death for the brutal mob killing of a painter who was suspected of starting destructive wildfires but had come to help fight them. The painter had been targeted by the mob because he was suspected of starting the fires.
The murder that took place in the Kabyle area of northeast Algeria in 2021 sent shockwaves throughout the country after gruesome photographs of it were distributed on social media. It occurred not long after the devastating wildfires in the hilly Berber area, which claimed the lives of around 90 people, including troops who were attempting to put out the blaze. More than one hundred people were put on trial in connection with the slaying of artist Djamel Ben Ismail, and the majority of them were found guilty of involvement in the artist’s passing in some capacity.
Because Algeria has a moratorium on executions that has been in place for decades, those who were sentenced to death on Thursday are likely to be handed a sentence of life in prison instead. A lawyer named Hakim Saheb, who was present at the trial in the neighborhood of Dra El Beida in Algiers and was a part of a collective of volunteer defense attorneys, stated that the penalties handed down to the other 38 defendants ranged from two to twelve years in jail.
In August of 2021, when the flames were raging, Ben Ismail tweeted that he was going to travel to the Kabyle region, which was 320 kilometers away from his house, to “give a hand to our friends” who were fighting the fires. As soon as he arrived at Larbaa Nath Iran, a village that had been severely affected by the fires, some of the local villagers suspected him of being an arsonist. It appears that this was because he was not originally from the region.
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Photos that were put online, according to the police, assisted them in identifying suspects. His heartbroken family was left wondering why those recordings didn’t help him instead of documenting him. The trial moreover included some political overtones. According to Saheb, five persons have been found guilty of participating in the murders as well as belonging to or supporting a banned Kabyle separatist organization called MAK. The convictions were handed down in absentia. Ferhat M’henni, who is located in France and is the leader of the movement, was one of them. MAK was charged by the Algerian government with having ordered the fires.
Lawyers for the defense have claimed that confessions were extracted via the use of torture, and they have characterized the trial as a political show trial designed to cast a negative light on the people of Kabyle. The area was the final stronghold of the pro-democracy protest movement known as “hirak” when the flames broke out. This movement was instrumental in bringing the long-serving president Abdelaziz Bouteflika down in 2019.
Attempts by hundreds of Algerian civilians to keep alive the hirak movement, whose marches have been prohibited by Algeria’s army-backed government, have resulted in those individuals being placed in jail.