HRW Asks France to Investigate Its Own Alleged War Crimes in Algeria
Human Rights Watch has forwarded a letter to French President Jacques Chirac asking him to launch an official investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity by French forces in Algeria.
The demand came after the Gen. Aussaresses, one of the key French officers in Algeria, published a book detailing how he witnessed the torture and killing of Algerians.
The inquiry, according to the Panafrican News Agency (PANA), would examine whether the French government ordered or tolerated the use of torture and summary executions against supporters of Algerian independence in the mid-1950s.
Human Rights Watch has recently made similar recommendations to the government of the United States. The recommendations deal with allegations, which in the case of former US senator Bob Kerrey, whose soldiers allegedly committed violations of international law during the Vietnam War, said the agency.
The letter to Chirac alleges that the revelations in the book Special Services, Algeria 1955-1957, and articles written by Gen. Aussaresses, indicate that French civilian and military authorities may have been complicit in a policy of war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to the agency.
In his book, Aussaresses described in detail his own participation in torturing prisoners to death and in extrajudicial executions of Algerian activists, including National Liberation Front leader Larbi Ben M'Hidi – Albawaba.com
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