Thu 24 November 2022:
On Thursday, an Algerian court sentenced 49 people to death for the lynching of a man who was wrongfully accused of starting catastrophic forest fires in August of last year.
However, since the last executions in 1993, North Africa has maintained a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty.
Djamel Ben Ismail, 38, was killed by onlookers after turning himself in at a Tizi Ouzou police station.
He had gone there at the height of the countrywide fires that claimed the lives of at least 90 people after learning that he was accused of setting them on fire.
Later, it was discovered that Ben Ismail had travelled to the area as a volunteer to assist in putting out the flames.
Videos from the period showed a throng approaching a police van, assaulting a guy inside, pulling him outside, and lighting him on fire while several took photos.
Despite his son’s death, the victim’s father, Noureddine Ben Ismail, was praised for encouraging Algerians to live in peace and “brotherhood.”
Authorities blamed arsonists and “criminals” for the fires, though a high temperature played a role.
They also mentioned the independence movement in the Kabylie region, which is located east of Algiers along the Mediterranean coast and is primarily populated by Berbers.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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