This was part of the proposals for a “reconciliation of memories” between Paris and Algiers formulated in the report by French historian Benjamin Stora.
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“Ali Boumendjel did not commit suicide. He was tortured and then murdered.” The Elysee Palace announced, Tuesday, March 2, the recognition by France of the assassination, disguised as suicide, of the lawyer and nationalist leader Ali Boumendjel during the “Battle of Algiers” in 1957.
This recognition “in the name of France”, which the Head of State himself announced to Ali Boumendjel’s grandchildren when he received them on Tuesday, is one of the calming gestures recommended by historian Benjamin Stora in his report on colonization and the war of Algeria, in order to resolve the tensions between the two countries around the memory of this conflict.
“At the heart of the Battle of Algiers, he was arrested by the French army, placed in solitary confinement, tortured, then assassinated on March 23, 1957. Paul Aussaresses himself confessed to having ordered one of his subordinates to kill him and disguise the crime as suicide “, writes the Elysee, which describes a “gesture of recognition, which is not an isolated act”.
Emmanuel Macron says he wants “continue the work started several years ago to collect testimonies, encourage the work of historians by opening the archives, in order to give all the families of the missing, on both sides of the Mediterranean, the means to know the truth”.
Renowned lawyer and ardent anti-colonialist activist, Ali Boumendjel was a member of the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto. “Ali Boumendjel left behind him an important political legacy. His battles and his courage have forever marked the spirits of Algeria and France”, describes the Elysee in its press release.