France’s Macron calls 1961 massacre of Algerians an ‘unforgivable crime’

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Emmanuel Macron on Saturday denounced a bloody crackdown on Algerian protesters by police in Paris 60 years ago as an “unpardonable crime”, the strongest recognition by a French president of a massacre in which many bodies were dumped in the Seine River. Was.

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On October 17, 1961, under orders from the then Paris Police Chief Maurice Papon, police attacked a demonstration of 25,000 pro-National Liberation Front (FLN) Algerians to protest the curfew imposed on Algerians.

Macron’s office said in a statement that the march had been “brutal, violent and bloody”, with some 12,000 Algerians arrested, many injured and dozens killed.


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Macron took part in an anniversary celebration at the bridge in Bezons, west of Paris, where some Algerians began their march and where several bodies were recovered from the Seine.

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“They accepted the facts: the crimes committed that night under the authority of Maurice Papone are unforgivable to the Republic,” the Elysee Palace statement said.

The massacre, which occurred during the war against French rule in Algeria, was long denied or concealed by the French authorities. The first commemoration of the event was organized by the Mayor of Paris in 2001.

The exact number of victims was never established, with some historians putting it at over 200 dead.

This year’s commemoration comes amid diplomatic tensions between Paris and Algiers.

Earlier this month Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris, attributed to Macron, who was quoted in Le Monde newspaper as saying that the rulers of Algeria based their “hatred of France” over the history of their colony. was rewritten.

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