An Algerian court has condemned 49 individuals to death after they were found guilty of lynching a man unjustly suspected of causing forest fires last year ,the state news agency said.
Given the ban on executions, the sentences will probably be lowered to life in prison.
The deadliest conflagration in Algerian history occurred in 2021, when numerous blazes claimed 90 lives.
Djamel Ben Ismail, the lynching victim, had gone to assist in putting out the fires.
The 38-year-old tweeted in August of last year that he would travel more than 320 kilometres (200 miles) from his home to “give a hand to our friends” battling the fires in the Kabylie region, east of the country.
Soon after he arrived, locals falsely accused him of starting fires himself.
It’s reported that, on 11 August, graphic footage began circulating purportedly showing Ben Ismail being attacked. People tortured and burned him before taking his body to the village square.The videos caused national outrage.
Mr Ben Ismail’s brother urged social media users to delete the footage of the attack. His mother, he said, still did not know how her son had died.
His father, Noureddine Ben Ismail, said he was “devastated”. “My son left to help his brothers from Kabylie, a region he loves. They burned him alive,” he said.
The AFP news agency reports that the father’s calls for calm and “brotherhood” were praised by Algerians.
The fires took place amid dry conditions and very high temperatures, but authorities also blamed “criminals” for the blazes.
The court sentenced 28 others to between two and 10 years for other offences related to the lynching, the AFP quotes the state news agency as reporting.
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