Algerian Villager

oil on canvas
60" x 48"
9,000 (unframed)
Algerian Villager

ALGERIA: Since 1992, more than 100,000 people have died in an armed conflict that has devastated Algeria. Though the death toll began to subside towards the end of the decade, armed groups, security forces, and paramilitary militias killed more than 2500 people in the year 2000. While many of the dead were members of warring factions, hundreds of civilians, including children and even entire families, were routinely murdered in individual attacks, massacres, and indiscriminate bomb explosions, some overtaken in their own homes.

Many of the attacks took place in rural areas outside of the main cities. This woman explains how attackers shot and stabbed to death at least 200 in her village. The Algerian government has provided little hope of justice for victims or their families, as widespread amnesty or exemption from prosecution for members of armed groups became standard practice with the passing of the 1999 "Law on Civil Harmony.”

In the initial six months following its institution, over 5000 members of armed groups surrendered voluntarily with the promise of immunity from prosecution or reduced sentences. Many reports indicated immediate release of those who surrendered and certificates of exemption from prosecution granted within days, leaving the likelihood of satisfactory investigations into alleged crimes and victims' complaints extremely remote.