49 people sentenced to death for lynching man they suspected of starting wildfires

49 people sentenced to death for lynching man they suspected of starting wildfires
49 people sentenced to death for lynching man they suspected of starting wildfires

The fires in Tizi Ouzou prefecture in August 2021 killed 90 people in less than a week. — ©AFP

An Algerian court on Thursday sentenced 49 people to death for a 2021 lynching in Kabylie against a man falsely accused of pyromania. This is reported by APS news agency. The sentences will be commuted to life imprisonment due to a moratorium on executions.

Source: Belgium

Today at 3:27 PM

The 49 were convicted of the murder of Djamel Bensmail, who volunteered to extinguish forest fires in the village of Larbaa Nnath Irathe, Tizi Ouzou prefecture. The fires killed ninety people in less than a week in August 2021.

The 38-year-old man had gone to the police when he heard a rumor that he started the fires. Footage posted on social media showed a mob surrounding a police van and removing the man from the vehicle. He was eventually beaten and burned alive while youths took selfies near the body.

The accused were charged with ‘terrorist and subversive acts against the state and national unity’ and ‘premeditated premeditated manslaughter’. Twenty-eight others were sentenced to prison terms of two to ten years, and seventeen others were acquitted.

The death penalty is included in Algerian criminal law, but has not been used since a moratorium was introduced in 1993.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: people sentenced death lynching man suspected starting wildfires

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