24 October 2023 :
An Algerian appellate court upheld the death sentence on October 23, 2023 for 38 individuals found guilty of the murder of Jamal Ben Ismail.
In 2021, a mob had wrongly identified him as an arsonist and lynched him, as reported by the AFP news agency.
The death sentences will be commuted to life in prison, as Algieria has maintained a moratorium on capital punishment since the last executions in 1993.
The case involves incidents that occurred in the summer of 2021, when 38-year-old painter Ben Ismail was murdered in the northeastern Kabylie region, sparking outrage across the nation.
According to the state news agency APS, of the 94 defendants whose cases were heard by the Algiers court of appeal, 27 were found not guilty, and the remaining 29 who were not given the death penalty received prison terms ranging from three to 20 years.
Ben Ismail, a young artist and musician, was a volunteer who had gone to the Kabylie region to help extinguish fires that had swept through Algeria in 2021. He was detained by the police on suspicion of involvement in the arson.
An enraged mob of local residents, who had suffered due to the fires, forcibly took him from the police and lynched him. Subsequently, they set his decapitated body on fire. Recordings shared on social media platforms led to the identification of the suspects.
Although the death penalty exists in Algeria’s penal code, it was last carried out in 1993.
Algeria has voted in favor of all eight UN resolutions on a moratorium on executions.