49 Algerians have been sentenced to death for the lynching of a man wrongly accused of starting a fire

An Algerian court has sentenced to death 49 people convicted of lynching a man they believe started a forest fire. The investigation revealed that the victim was innocent, moreover, she had come to help put out the fire.

The facts happened last year, when Algeria was confronted with devastating wildfires, during which 90 people lost their lives, writes the BBC.

The victim of the lynching, Djamel Ben Ismail, 38, traveled more than 300 kilometers to participate as a volunteer in the extinction of fires affecting the region of Kabylie, located east of the capital Algiers. Before leaving his home, he wrote on Twitter that he was going to lend “a hand to friends” who are fighting the flames.

Shortly after his arrival, however, locals accused him of starting the fire. Several amateur videos showed the man being beaten and tortured before being taken to a public square and killed.

Last year’s fires in Algeria were caused by high temperatures, but authorities also said some fires were started intentionally.

Although the death penalty is legal in Algeria, there have been no executions here since 1993. The country has signed several moratoriums on the death penalty, so it is expected that the sentences of the 49 convicted will be replaced by life imprisonment.

In the same case, the Algerian courts also sentenced 28 people to terms of between two and ten years.

Publisher: DR

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