French Lawmakers Denounce 1961 Paris Massacre of Algerians

French Lawmakers Denounce 1961 Paris Massacre of Algerians
Palais Bourbon/Creative Commons/Dinkum

French lawmakers approved a resolution on Thursday condemning the actions of Parisian police officers who killed dozens of Algerians in 1961. They were rallying in support of the former colony’s independence.

For many decades, France downplayed the extent of the violence perpetrated against the peaceful demonstrators in the final year of Algeria’s push for independence. At the time some pro-independence militants were bombing mainland France. 

It was not until 2012 that then president Francois Hollande paid tribute to the victims of what he called a "bloody crackdown". 

In 2021, on the 60th anniversary of the massacre, Macron acknowledged about 12,000 Algerians were arrested and several dozen protesters were killed with “their bodies tossed into the Seine”. Historians believe the death count was much higher.

The resolution, approved by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers, calls for an official commemoration of the incident. 

France has endeavored to reconcile with Algeria over the years for its colonial past. But it has refused to apologize for the 132 years of frequently harsh governance that concluded in 1962.


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