Algeria Sentences Scores To Death Over Forest Fire Lynching: Media
An Algerian court Thursday sentenced 49 people to death over the lynching of a man falsely accused of starting deadly forest fires during an extended heatwave last year, state media reported
Algiers, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Nov, 2022 ) :An Algerian court Thursday sentenced 49 people to death over the lynching of a man falsely accused of starting deadly forest fires during an extended heatwave last year, state media reported.
The North African country has, however, maintained a moratorium on carrying out death sentences since the last executions in 1993.
Onlookers had beaten 38-year-old Djamel Ben Ismail to death after he turned himself in at a police station in the Tizi Ouzou region.
He had gone there upon hearing that he was suspected of arson, at the height of blazes which killed at least 90 people nationwide.
It later emerged that Ben Ismail, an artist from Miliana (230 kilometres or 140 miles further west), had headed to the region as a volunteer to help put out the fires.
Algeria, Africa's biggest country, was one of several Mediterranean nations to face devastating wildfires last year.
The shocking images were widely shared and sparked outrage in Algeria.
Algeria's LADDH human rights group called for calm and for those responsible for the "despicable murder" to be brought to justice.
"These images constitute yet another trauma for the family and for the Algerian people, already shocked" by the fires, it said.
The victim's father, Noureddine Ben Ismail, was widely praised for calling for calm and "brotherhood" among Algerians despite his son's murder.
The fires were spurred by a blistering heatwave, but authorities also blamed arsonists and "criminals" for the outbreaks.
Critics say the authorities failed to prepare for the blazes.