Confirmation had been awaited for several weeks. It occurred symbolically on July 5, the day of the 60th anniversary of independence. “A special law for the benefit of detainees who have been definitively sentenced, and this in extension of the laws on Rahma and Civil Concord” is being prepared according to a press release from the presidency. If no additional details have been delivered, we already know that it aims in particular to regularize the situation of former leaders of the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front), the dissolved Islamist movement in 1992.
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A first law concerning the period of the black decade was promulgated in 1995 under the presidency of Liamine Zeroual and the second in 1999, at the beginning of the first mandate of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Intended to put an end to the violence and empty the maquis of its jihadists, they were supplemented in 2005 by a National Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation which promised the termination of proceedings for Islamist terrorists who agreed to file weapons, with the exception of those accused of mass killings, rapes and bombings. The civil war killed nearly 100,000 people during the 1990s.
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On July 15, 2022, a second press release announces that the new text of the law will be submitted to the vote of Parliament during its next session in September. 298 definitively sentenced prisoners will benefit from its provisions. Cherifa Kheddar, president of the Djazairouna association which helps survivors and families of victims, of which she herself is a member, is dumbfounded.
His life changed on June 24, 1996. That day, an armed group surrounded the family home, executed his brother and sister and injured his mother. She narrowly escapes being killed. Since then, she has devoted all her energy to thwarting clemency measures and demanding reparation and justice.
A draft bill “for the benefit of prisoners who have been definitively sentenced” will be submitted to Parliament next September. How do you react ?
Cherifa Kheddar: This law in preparation is felt as a new aggression and an attack on the memory of the victims and on the right of their families to fair compensation for the damage suffered. Once again, the authorities hide the traumas and responsibilities of the black decade. This kind of measure should be taken in consultation with those who opposed the obscurantist project, and in memory of those who paid for it with their lives. We are the legitimate interlocutors. This new law unfortunately reminds us that our struggle and our sacrifices are not not recognised.