Macron condemns ‘unforgivable’ 1961 bloody crackdown of Algerians

Macron condemns 'unforgivable' 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris
Source: AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, has called a bloody crackdown on Algerian protesters by police in Paris 60 years ago an “unforgivable crime”.

French police turned on Algerian demonstrators on 17 October 1961. Some were shot, others were drowned.

The precise number of victims is unknown, but some say several hundred could have been murdered.

Mr Macron is the first French president to acknowledge that crimes were committed that day.

The French President joined a commemoration beside the bridge over the River Seine which was the starting point in 1961 for a march against a night curfew imposed only on Algerians.

He told relatives of victims on the 60th anniversary of the bloody crackdown that “crimes” were committed under the command of the notorious Paris police chief Maurice Papon.

The police chief was revealed in the 1980s to have collaborated with occupying Nazi forces in World War Two in transferring Jews to Nazi death camps.

Mr Macron’s office said in a statement that the 1961 march was repressed “brutally, violently and in blood”. Some 12,000 Algerians were arrested, dozens killed and many were wounded, it added.

But activists who were hoping for an even stronger recognition of responsibility were left disappointed.

Mr Macron stopped short of an apology and didn’t give a public speech, with the Elysee issuing only the written statement.

His statement “is progress but not complete. We hoped for more”, Mimouna Hadjam of the Africa93 anti-racism association told the AFP news agency.

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