The Triple Punishment of the Deportees

Even twenty years since the opening of the internment camps in the southern parts of Algeria, and nearly sixteen since their closure, the Algerian regime continues to obscure the facts in full. A regime that denies the existence of these camps; it refuses to recognize the existence of thousands of internees and the lawless character that led to their internment.

Denying the crime, the regime refuses to recognize the inhuman side of internment places where hundreds of cases of contamination by radioactivity are reported at the time when Algeria is claiming compensation for those infected in the same places where the French nuclear testing took place.

Forceful deportation, furnace up to 70 ° C in tents, and radioactive irradiation were a triple punishment for thousands of Algerians by a simple administrative decision. What a huge power that the Algerian administration has- trampling on justice and laws, sovereignty and its symbols.

From concord to reconciliation, there is no reference whatsoever to this chapter of Algerian history as those responsible for the deaths of thousands of Algerians are absolved of their crimes through a custom text concocted by policymakers on behalf of the Presidency and supported by a referendum for the purpose of an elusive legitimacy.

The refusal of Algerians to masquerade has been clear through unmatched abstention in the last elections even by the maligned 2007 legislative elections.

The representatives of these Algerians have made every effort, writing to all instances, meeting politicians, party leaders, including MPs and the chairman of the Human Rights Observatory whose promises carried no further than his office.

This observatory, directly linked to the regime, created more as a showcase to amuse the West on one side, and as a modern fashion in another and to be a launching pad for a succeeding manager again, to its predecessor but this time in the animation of "the counter terrorism" or in the absolute lawlessness.

Terrible is this humiliation to make the face and reverse, the front and back to the same person to disclose or even put in bare excessive ambitions, disguised inside fighting for causes often noble.

In the case, it will only be a pattern as before, but the summit, a case study, is the actual Minister of Culture. Any other portfolio could have been entrusted to the person, but for the lady whose defence of the language, culture and Berber identity appeared to be an active commitment for life, it had to put her in culture to see the Minister sweat when speaking the language, once considered one of the Arab occupant, organising and  managing  the festivities for the inauguration of the capital of Islamic culture considered some time ago as medieval obscurantist and serving at the end a power that seemed doom to hell.

Don’t they say that every human has their price? This lady has taken her bid, and let the Berber cause delay.

I must admit that for the deportees of the Deep South there is not any quotation at all. The market seems to be expensive, even a commitment to take part in the upcoming elections is not a humiliation strong enough to make an offer, as this kind of transaction is not without backlash for those who decided to take example from Nazism to get rid of a potential, a simple potential who may be dangerous for bosses, wrongly or rightly.

In this case this seems to be closer to Stalinism (for Siberian camps) than that of Hitler whose method was not used against political opponents.

Fortunately, there are Algerians who deliberately abandoned the honours and the lime light, and stayed loyal to their principles whose accuracy was often recognized, as always after death, through their funeral oration.

At its last home, Abdelhamid Mehri, a man of his size was accompanied by the cowards who had not the courage of their ideas, who sold their souls, born to be slave, and others, close to the deceased who came to show respect for a man, wisdom, courage, an Algerian we like.

During his lifetime, no one took offense for the reception reserved to him at the Algiers airport on his return from St. Egidio, his luggage were checked disgracefully and belongings scattered on the floor.

On that day his diplomatic passport and his wife’s too were forcibly removed with humiliating words and attitudes. No one was worried also to see the man renting his house and take a modest apartment in order to save money to care for his sick wife without bending, as a proud man, a free man. And as long as there are men.

Sheikh Ali Benhadj, who is too faithful to his principles, no need here to recall, did not attend the funeral of this great man, rejecting to meet the false afflicted, customers, guilt-filled, and hypocrites, but he went the next morning to meditate in the cemetery of Sidi Yahia in the privacy of the deceased's grave.

By chance he met the son of Mr. Abdelhamid and his son in law also son of the former President Chadli. He passed on his sincere condolences and through him, those of millions of Algerians. By doing the unanimity, Abdelhamid has succeeded in life as much as his death.


Saleh El Batni


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