Algeria: Saved for the Sand

In Algeria last week Hocine Ait Ahmed and an officer named Si Moussa sat in prison cells awaiting execution. Their four-day trial had taken place before a three-man "revolutionary criminal court." Ait Ahmed, 39, a French-trained lawyer, was captured last October after leading an underground movement aimed at toppling the government of President Ahmed ben Bella, his onetime comrade in arms in the F.L.N. struggle against the French. The state demanded the death sentence, and the 15 defense lawyers—Algerian, Moroccan, French and Swiss—finally quit the courtroom in protest at the methods of...

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