49 death sentences following a lynching during the Kabylie fires in 2021

49 death sentences following a lynching during the Kabylie fires

In August 2021, a man, wrongly suspected of being an arsonist, was lynched by a mob in Kabylia. The region was then ravaged by fires that had killed dozens in less than a week. A hundred people, arrested in several regions of the country, were prosecuted. Justice delivered its verdict on Thursday, November 24.

Clips of videos are projected in the room during the trial. Images of the lynching of Djamel Bensmail… broadcast by the accused on social networks, at the time of the events.

In August 2021, this 38-year-old volunteered to help put out the wildfires that ravage Kabylia. He goes to the police because he hears that he is suspected of having started a fire. The crowd grabs him. He is beaten, burned alive. Young people take selfies in front of his body.

Premeditated intentional homicide »

The case causes a wave of emotion in Algeria. Several human rights organizations say they are shocked, and call on the Algerian authorities not to let this violence go unpunished. A hundred people are being prosecuted for “intentional homicide with premeditation”, but also “ terrorist and subversive acts against the State and national unity”.

On Thursday, the court of Dar El Beïda rendered its decision: 49 were sentenced to death, 28 to sentences ranging from 2 to 10 years in prison, 17 were acquitted. Since the death penalty has not been applied for nearly 30 years in Algeria, they should be commuted to life imprisonment.