Rights organization criticizes Algeria following widespread executions
Amnesty International has called on Algeria to revoke the death sentences of dozens of individuals who were lynched after being wrongly convicted of causing dangerous forest fires.
For the 2021 lynching of 38-year-old Djamel Ben Ismail at a police station in the Tizi Ouzou area, a court in November condemned 49 people to death.
Amnesty's request comes after dozens of people were executed for lynching a guy who had been wrongly accused of causing fatal fires by a court.
Amnesty International claims that five other prisoners, among them a woman, were given death sentences in absentia.
Since 1993, the nation of North Africa has maintained a moratorium on the death penalty, therefore the penalties are unlikely to be carried out.
The hearings, according to Amnesty, were marred by "fair-trial violations" and allegations of torture, and "at least six [of those sentenced] were charged owing to their political associations," the organization stated on Monday.
No matter what crime was done, the death penalty is never justified. Amna Guellali, regional deputy head of Amnesty International, declared that these heinous death sentences and convictions ought to be immediately revoked.
At the height of the August flames, which claimed at least 90 lives across the country despite the fact that Ben Ismail had volunteered to combat the fires, he turned himself in after learning he had been charged with arson.
Outrage in Algeria was stirred by pictures of a crowd thrashing him and setting him on fire. Despite his son's murder, his father, Noureddine Ben Ismail, received much appreciation for urging restraint and a sense of national "brotherhood."
Another 28 defendants received sentences ranging from two to ten years in prison, while another 17 were declared innocent.
Authorities blamed arsonists, "criminals," and the independence movement of the Berber-majority region of Kabylie, which stretches along the Mediterranean coast, east of Algiers, in addition to the intense heat wave that sparked the flames.
According to defense attorney Kader Houali, the defendants are appealing, although the date of their appeal has not yet been set.
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