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US News Algerian War: Macron recognizes that Ali Boumendjel was "tortured and assassinated" by the French army

02:48  03 march  2021
02:48  03 march  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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La reconnaissance de la torture et de l'assassinat du militant nationaliste Ali Boumendjel, annoncée mardi soir, fait partie des gestes d'apaisement préconisés par la mission menée par l'historien Benjamin Stora. © ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP Recognition of the torture and assassination of nationalist activist Ali Boumendjel, announced on Tuesday evening, is part of the appeasement gestures recommended by the mission led by historian Benjamin Stora.

Emmanuel Macron admitted on Tuesday that the lawyer and nationalist leader Ali Boumendjel was "tortured and murdered" by the French army during the Algerian war in 1957, announced the Elysee, a murder at the time made up in suicide. This recognition "in the name of France", which the Head of State himself announced to the grandchildren of Ali Boumendjel by receiving them on Tuesday, is one of the gestures of appeasement recommended by the historian Benjamin Stora in its report on colonization and the Algerian war, in order to resolve the tensions between the two countries around the memory of this conflict.

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"To look history in the face" ... E. Macron today received 4 grandchildren from #AliBoumendjel , the Élysée recognizes that this Algerian nationalist "did not commit suicide" but was "tortured and murdered ”. One more step in the recommendations of the Stora Mission pic.twitter.com/yuFBshtyhQ

- Jean-Rémi Baudot (@jrbaudot) March 2, 2021 Strong criticism of the Stora

report Benjamin Stora, recognized specialist in contemporary history of Algeria, had been instructed in July by President Emmanuel Macron to "draw up a fair and precise inventory of the progress made in France on the memory of colonization and the Algerian war".

Variously received, his report, submitted to Emmanuel Macron on January 20, raised strong criticism, both in Algeria and in France, in particular for not having advocated an "apology" from Paris for the crimes of the colonial period ( 1830-1962).

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Ardent anti-colonialist militant

Renowned lawyer and ardent anti-colonialist activist, Boumendjel was a member of the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto (UDMA) created in 1946 by Ferhat Abbas, the first president of the GPRA - provisional government of the Algerian Republic. He becomes the advocate of the nationalists, following in the footsteps of his big brother Ahmed.

The "battle of Algiers" occurs from January to October 1957 (when the French paras resorted to torture and summary executions to put an end to the attacks of the FLN: Editor's note) "When we learned on February 9, 1957 of his arrest, my father was a lawyer in Paris at the time. I remember how the mere announcement of his arrest was an electric shock for my father, "his niece, Fadela Boumendjel-Chitour, told AFP in January.

"He realized that given the horrible repression of the time, all dangers hung over the head of his young brother. He never ceased to alert the civil and religious authorities of France by sending telegrams to denounce his arbitrary arrest and the lack of information ". He wrote to the Chairman of the Board René Coty. At the end of February, the family learned that he had been hospitalized at the Maillot military hospital in Bab El Oued.

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Death disguised as suicide

At the end of February, the family learned that he had been hospitalized at the Maillot military hospital in Bab El Oued. "My father learned that he would have tried to kill himself with the glass of his glasses. It was freezing." Two family doctors were called in to recognize the body. The grandparents were extremely sorry not to be able to say goodbye to him. His coffin was sealed.

What upset his family is that until the confession of the parachutist general Paul Aussaresses in 2000, the death of Ali Boumendjel was disguised as suicide. "We were led to believe that he had thrown himself from a building in El Biar. I hope he was already dead before the fall. He was 38 years old." The family received many letters of condolence, including those from Pierre Mendès-France and François Mauriac "who apologized the next day on behalf of France".

Ali Boumendjel's friend and law professor, René Capitant, lawyer and politician, resigned from the law faculty. "I believe that French politicians do not understand to what extent entire families have been devastated by state lies," said the niece of the murdered activist today. She would like us to recognize that "colonialism is an attack on human dignity in the same way as the Shoah and slavery".

"The rehabilitation (of Ali Boumendjel) is an approach to the truth. This is good, on condition that it is recognized that he was savagely tortured for weeks and that his murder was masked as suicide", she said of the Stora report.

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This is interesting!