NEWS: Algeria
Dozens sentenced to death for lynching

An Alger­ian court last year sen­tenced 49 peo­ple to death after con­vict­ing them of lynch­ing a man who was mis­tak­en for start­ing a for­est fire, accord­ing to state news agency.

The sen­tence is like­ly to be com­mut­ed to life impris­on­ment because there is a mora­to­ri­um on executions.

In 2021, Alge­ria suf­fered the worst fires in its his­to­ry, with mul­ti­ple blazes killing 90 people.

Lynch vic­tim Jamel Ben Ismail had gone to help put out the fire.

After a fire broke out last August, the 38-year-old left his home to “help my friends” fight­ing fires in the hard­est-hit areas of the Kabry region east of the cap­i­tal Algiers. It tweets that it trav­els more than 200 miles.

Short­ly after his arrival, how­ev­er, locals false­ly accused him of set­ting the fire.

On August 11, graph­ic images began cir­cu­lat­ing, alleged­ly show­ing Ben Ismail being attacked. The peo­ple tor­tured him, burned him, and then took his corpse to the town square.

The video has gar­nered out­rage across the Unit­ed States.

Ben Ismail’s broth­er has urged social media users to remove the images of the attack. His moth­er still does­n’t know how his son died.

His father, Noured­dine Ben Ismail, said he was “dev­as­tat­ed”. He said, “His son went to help his beloved broth­er in Cabiria. He was burned alive.”

The Alger­ian admires his father’s calm­ness and pleas for “broth­er­ly love,” accord­ing to AFP news agency.

The fire occurred in a dry envi­ron­ment and extreme­ly hot tem­per­a­tures, but author­i­ties also blamed “crim­i­nals”.

The court also sen­tenced 28 peo­ple to between two and 10 years for oth­er lynch­ing-relat­ed crimes, state news agency AFP reported.

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