Openings for Seeking Justice for Colonial Violence in Algeria | Summary and Q&A

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October 1, 2021
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Openings for Seeking Justice for Colonial Violence in Algeria

TL;DR

This content discusses the crimes committed by the French army in Algeria, including torture, murders, and summary executions, as well as the nuclear tests conducted by France in the Sahara. It explores the legal implications and consequences of these actions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How were the crimes committed by the French army in Algeria addressed legally?

The French Courts ruled that these crimes were not crimes against humanity, but rather ordinary crimes covered by an amnesty law passed in 1964. The Court of Cassation upheld these rulings and refused to retroactively apply a new Penal Code that incriminated crimes against humanity before 1994.

Q: Were there any legal implications for the French nuclear tests in Algeria?

While there were no criminal procedures, a law called the Morin Law of 2010 recognized the repercussions of the nuclear tests and allowed victims to seek reparations. However, compensation is limited to specific diseases linked to radiation exposure.

Q: Can the nuclear tests be considered crimes against humanity?

The content suggests that it is worth exploring whether the nuclear tests can be qualified as crimes against humanity based on the statute of the International Criminal Court. This has not been thoroughly researched, but if they are considered as such, they would be subject to the principle of imprescriptibility.

Q: What legal avenues can be pursued for justice and reparations?

At the national level, procedures can focus on qualifying the nuclear tests as crimes against humanity and seeking civil reparations. It may also be possible to bring a complaint against the French State before Algerian courts. Internationally, options include the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The content highlights two types of crimes committed by the French army in Algeria: war crimes and crimes against humanity. These crimes were committed both before and after Algeria's decolonization in 1962.

  • It also addresses the French nuclear tests conducted in the Sahara, which began in 1960 and continued under an agreement with newly decolonized Algeria. The content emphasizes the medical, human, and legal consequences of these tests.

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