Emmanuel Macron recognized on Tuesday March 2, “In the name of France”, that the lawyer and nationalist leader Ali Boumendjel had been “Tortured and murdered” by the French army during the Algerian war in 1957, a gesture of appeasement recommended by the report of the historian Benjamin Stora. This movement “Is not an isolated act”, promises the French president. “No crime, no atrocity committed by anyone during the Algerian War can be excused or concealed”.
The French president himself announced this recognition to the grandchildren of Ali Boumendjel by receiving them on Tuesday. At the time, the assassination of the lawyer was disguised as suicide. “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”, details the Élysée in a press release. In 2000, “Paul Aussaresses (former head of intelligence in Algiers, Editor’s note) himself confessed to having ordered one of his subordinates to kill him and disguise the crime as suicide”.
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“Today, the President of the Republic received at the Élysée Palace four of Ali Boumendjel’s grandchildren to tell them, on behalf of France, what Malika Boumendjel would have liked to hear: Ali Boumendjel does not is not committed suicide. He was tortured and then murdered ”, adds the French presidency.
“Advance on the path of truth”
“The generation of Ali Boumendjel’s grandchildren must be able to build their destiny, far from the two ruts of amnesia and resentment. It is for them now, for the French and Algerian youth, that we must advance on the path of truth, the only one which can lead to the reconciliation of memories ”, adds the Élysée. Last month, Ali Boumendjel’s niece, Fadela Boumendjel-Chitour, denounced a “Lie of the (French) state which was devastating”.
→ ANALYSIS. In Algeria, memories still vivid
The recognition of this crime by France is part of the recommendations of the Stora report on colonization and the Algerian war, in order to resolve the tensions surrounding the memory of this conflict. The Algerian government has repeatedly asked “Recognition of colonial crimes” from France.
As the 60th anniversary of the end of the war and the independence of Algeria approaching in 2022, Paris and Algiers have made this “Reconciliation of memories” a priority file and MM. Macron and Tebboune are committed to working together on this issue.