French president Emmanuel Macron acknowledged Tuesday that activist Ali Boumendjel was ‘’tortured and murdered’’ by the French army during the 1957 Algerian war.
At the time the lawyer’s murder was made to appear as an assassination.
It’s a gesture of appeasement as recommended by the report of French historian Benjamin Stora.
In a statement, Macron said ‘’ no crime, no atrocity committed by anyone during the Algerian war can be excused or concealed. They must be viewed with courage and lucidity, with absolute respect for all those whose lives they have torn apart and shattered their destiny.”
The statement said at the heart of the battle of Algiers, Bounmendjel was arrested by the French army, placed in solitary confinement, tortured and then murdered on March 23, 1957.
The French President promised to undertake ‘’symbolic acts’’ in a bid to reconcile the two countries. But Macron ruled out any apology.
He made the acknowledgement when he met the grandchildren of Ali Bounmendjel at the Elysée Palace Tuesday.
The Elysée added that “this work will be extended and deepened over the coming months, so that we can move towards appeasement and reconciliation”, wanting “to look History in the face, to recognize the truth of the facts”.