In a meeting with the activist’s grandchildren, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, confessed that the French government was responsible for the death of Algerian Independence activist, Ali Boumendjel. 

His death was orchestrated by the government ruling in 1957. The Algerian lawyer turned activist was killed in a jail cell on orders from the French Government. His death was ruled as a suicide. Ali Boumendjel was a freedom fighter that fought for the freedom of Algeria from colonial rule.  

France had previously claimed the activist killed himself in prison 

The French government had released a statement after his death that the activist killed himself in prison. Boumendjel’s family has fought the government for years, demanding that the truth about his passing be told to the public.

Boumendjel was a key figure in the fight for Algeria to gain its independence from France. Macron described him as a brave and empathetic person that had been encouraged by the French Revolution to pursue justice for his people. 

The former head of French intelligence in Algiers, Paul Aussaresses, released a book that detailed the torture Boumendjel and other freedom fighters suffered in prison. Aussaresses added that the French had been aware of the torture suffered by Boumendjel in prison.  

Macron decrees that he will continue to expose France’s colonial atrocities 

After his meeting with Boumendjel’s family, Macron announced that he will continue to release the truth about France’s colonial past. He is the first French president to admit that France carried out atrocities against its former colonies. 

Three years ago, he confessed that France tortured its prisoners during Algeria’s war for independence. He commissioned French historian Benjamin Stora with analyzing how the country acted during its colonization era. 

Stora’s report concluded that the French government should admit to the murder of Boumendjel and create a “memory and truth commission” that would catalog the experience of people that suffered in the war.