A political party in Algeria Sunday called for prosecuting France in international courts for the crimes it committed in Algeria during its 132 years of colonial rule.
In a statement on the 60th anniversary of the 1961 French police massacre of peaceful Algerian demonstrators in Paris demanding independence for their country, the Movement for the Society and Peace said: “Honoring the martyrs requires suing (France) internationally.”
On Oct. 17, 1961, over 300 peaceful Algerian demonstrators were killed by the French police, with many thrown into the River Seine.
France’s crimes include its massacre of nearly 4,000 Muslim worshipers during the colonial era, which spanned 1830 to 1962.
The worshippers were killed as they staged a sit-in inside an Ottoman Mosque called Ketchaoua in an effort to stop it from being converted into a church.
"France colonized us for 132 years, during which there were heinous crimes that cannot be erased with fine words,” Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in a televised interview last Sunday.
“There are families and tribes that were completely erased, such as Zaatcha (southeastern Algeria), and not even the babies were spared.”
He added: "(In Ketchaoua) they killed 4,000 worshipers who were martyred after being surrounded by cannons and exterminated."
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara