Macron Condemns the 1961 Algerian Massacre

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday (16/10) denounced the brutal crackdown by Paris police on Algerian protesters in 1961, calling it “unforgivable.” The scale of the incident was covered up for decades, disappointing activists who had hoped for a bigger response.

Macron addressed the families of the victims on the 60th anniversary of the bloody event. He said that the crime was committed on the night of October 17, 1961, under the orders of the ruthless Paris police chief Maurice Papon.

Macron acknowledged that dozens of demonstrators were killed, “their bodies were dumped into the Seine.” He paid tribute to them.

The exact number of victims is unclear, and some activists fear that hundreds may have died.

Macron “acknowledges the fact: that the crimes committed that night at the behest of Maurice Papon are inexcusable for the Republic,” the Elysee Presidential Palace said.

“This tragedy has long been silenced, denied or covered up,” he added in a statement.

Algerian President Abdelmadjidn Tebboune said there was “a strong concern for dealing with matters of history and memory without risking principle, and with a keen sense of responsibility,” free from “the domination of arrogant colonialist thought,” his office said in a statement. [vm/ah]

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