They allegedly set fire to a man and burned him alive: a court in Algeria has therefore sentenced 49 people to death. The judges determined they killed the man more than a year ago and desecrated his body.
As the Algerian state news agency APS reported Thursday, 28 defendants were sentenced to prison terms of between two and 10 years and 17 others were acquitted.
Mob mistook man for arsonist
The brutal murder had caused great horror in Algeria. A mob killed the man last August, mistaking him for an arsonist.
At that time, fierce forest fires were raging in Algeria, killing dozens of people.
Mob attacked guard
The police initially took the man and other suspects to a police station. The mob eventually attacked the guard and dragged him out. Police officers tried to help the victim. Several officers are said to have suffered burns themselves.
However, according to media reports, the mob’s accusations turned out to be false: instead of setting fire, the dead man allegedly helped put out bushfires.
The verdicts can still be appealed. The last time people were actually executed in Algeria was about 30 years ago. Since then there has been a moratorium: the death penalty is still imposed, but no longer carried out. According to Amnesty International, one death penalty was imposed in 2020, compared to nine last year.