The author of a video calling for the destruction of Kabylia was sentenced in Algeria to prison and a fine of 100,000 DA. New Algerian legislation hardened the penal arsenal in terms of incitement to hatred in April 2020.
A man behind a video calling for “wiping Kabylia off the map” was sentenced on September 13 by the Criminal Court of Annaba (in eastern Algeria) to a sentence of eight months in prison and 100,000 dinars (approximately 622 euros) in fines. Quoting the president of the Algerian League for Human Rights (LADH) of Annaba, Adel Messaoudi, the TSA news site reports that the defendant was found guilty of “inciting hatred”.
The video of the individual named Rayfa followed the lynching to death of young Djamel Bensmail on August 11 in Larbaâ Nath Irathen, in the Kabylie region, in Algeria. Rayfa then posted a video in which he notably called for “wiping Kabylia off the map”.
Djamel Bensmaïl, a native of Miliana 120 kilometers southwest of Algiers, had gone to Kabylia to help when the region had been facing huge fires for three days. He had found himself the target of a false accusation attributing acts of pyromania to him. Dozens of people had forcibly removed him from the police van that took him to the Larbaa Nath Iraten police station, where his body was found mutilated and burned after a lynching. His death deeply shocked the country. Sixty-one suspects were arrested during the murder investigation.
Incitement to hatred was the subject of new legislation in Algeria on April 29, 2020. As the daily recalled. El Watan, 47 new articles have provided the penal arsenal with penalties varying according to the seriousness of the cases and the persons targeted. Thus, hate speech like that carried by Rayfa is punishable by imprisonment of 1 to 3 years and a fine of 100,000 DA to 300,000 DA.