Algeria court sentences many to death over forest fire lynching
According to official media, a court in Algeria has sentenced 49 individuals to death for the lynching of a man who was wrongfully accused of setting fatal forest fires during a prolonged heatwave last year.
However, the nation of North Africa has continued to refrain from carrying out death penalties since the last executions in 1993, therefore the sentences will probably be changed to life in prison.
The court determined that after Djamel Ben Ismail, 38, was accused of igniting the flames that broke out last August and killed at least 90 people around northern Algeria, villagers in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, beat him to death.
Ismail, an artist from Miliana (230 kilometres or 140 miles to the west), later came to light as having actually been to the area as a volunteer to assist in putting out the fires.
The largest nation in Africa, Algeria, was among the Mediterranean countries to experience disastrous wildfires in 2017.
According to the official state news agency, APS, the court in Dar el-Beida, east of the capital Algiers, “sentenced 49 persons to execution over [Ben Ismail’s] murder and mutilation of his body” on Thursday.
According to APS, the court sentenced 28 additional offenders to prison terms ranging from two years to ten years without parole.
Videos that were uploaded to the internet following the lynching showed a throng approaching a police van, assaulting a guy inside, pulling him outside, and burning him on fire while several took photos. Outrage in Algeria was stirred by the disturbing photographs that were widely distributed.
Despite his son’s death, the victim’s father, Noureddine Ben Ismail, was hailed for urging peace and “brotherhood” among Algerians.