Last year, 49 people were sentenced to death for lynching a man falsely accused of starting a deadly fire.
An Algerian court has sentenced 49 people to death for the lynching of a man on a false allegation of starting deadly wildfire during a extended heatwave Last year, state media reported.
However, the North African country has had a moratorium on capital punishment since the last execution in 1993, meaning the sentence will be reduced to life imprisonment.
The court found that 38-year-old Jamel Ben Ismail was beaten to death by locals in Algeria’s Tiji Ouzou district after he was accused of starting the crime. the fire that started last august And at least 90 people were killed throughout northern Algeria.
It later emerged that Ismail, an artist from Miliana (230 kilometers or 140 mi further west), had actually gone as a volunteer to help put out the fires in the area.
Algeria, the largest country in Africa, was one of many Mediterranean countries to face devastating wildfires last year,
The court in Dar al-Beida, east of the capital Algiers, on Thursday “sentenced 49 people to death”. [Ben Ismail’s] murder and mutilation of his body”, the official state news agency, APS, reported.
APS said the court sentenced 28 other defendants to prison terms ranging from two years to a decade without parole.
Videos posted online after the lynching show a crowd surrounding a police van and thrashing a man in it, then dragging him outside and setting him on fire while taking some selfies .
The shocking photos were widely shared and sparked outrage in Algeria.
Noureddine Ben Ismail, the victim’s father, was praised for calling for calm and “brotherhood” among Algerians despite his son’s killing.
The blaze was caused by extreme heat, but officials also blamed “criminals” for the outbreak.
The authorities also accused the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabyle (MAK), which Algiers has classified as a “terrorist organization”. The MAK, an autonomy movement for the mostly Amazigh-speaking Kabylie region in northern Algeria, rejected the allegations.
Although much of Algeria is desert, there are more than four million hectares (10 million acres) of forest in the north and devastating fire every summer,
Climate scientists have repeatedly warned that man-made global warming will bring higher temperatures and more extreme weather events around the world.